WEST ORANGE, NJ – Parents and family members filled the auditorium at West Orange High School on June 20 as their eighth grade Liberty students bid farewell to middle school and looked forward to beginning a new chapter in their lives.

Following the processional, Principal Robert Klemt welcomed families and congratulated students on their accomplishments over the past two years. Honored guests included Superintendent Jeff Rutzky, retiring Assistant Superintendent Dr. Donna Rando, and West Orange High School Principal Hayden Moore.

“Ceremonies such as this provide opportunities to reflect on memories from the past years,” said Klemt. “Personally it has been very fulfilling watching each of you interact in class and learn. All of you have matured and grown socially and have accomplished so much…as I reflect on our years together some of my proudest moments have occurred in seeing our young adults offer their time participating in service activities. A student giving of their time and talents for the benefit of others is extremely rewarding.”

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West Orange High School Principal Hayden Moore welcomed students as part of the incoming freshman class.

“Welcome to the graduating class of 2020,” he said.

The orchestra performed “Pachelbel’s Canon,” under the direction of teacher Dave Rimelis, followed by the recognition of students for the Liberty Awards of Distinction and the Mayor’s Awards for Community Service.

Ashkay Bhandari, Anika Fernandez and Julia Giovine received the Liberty Awards of Distinction, given not only for outstanding academic excellence, but also for their contributions to the life of Liberty Middle School.

The Mayor’s Award was given to Karan Belday and Ogechi Nwobu for their impressive community service and involvement.

Indigo Jackson performed next, impressing the audience with her rendition of Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time.”

Three students: Kiley Smith, Jordan James and Arnelle LaRose were recognized for creative achievements and read their works, while rising WOHS senior Jocelyn Cherian, a graduate of LMS, welcomed students and encouraged them to become involved.

Guidance Counselor Stephanie Nesbitt announced the Academic Awards of Excellence and the ceremony concluded with the distribution of diplomas.  

“In closing, our teachers have prepared you well, they provided the guidance and instruction necessary as you move on to high school and it is our hope that you will commit yourselves towards the many educational challenges that lie ahead,” said Klemt. “Enter school in September with energy, focus, and the desire to confront the unknown. To the Liberty Class of 2016, congratulations and best always.”

To see all the photos from the LMS graduation, go to: LMS Graduation.

To see the list of student awards, go to: Award List