WEST ORANGE, NJ - 547 West Orange High School seniors graduated during the 119th Annual Commencement Exercises at Codey Arena on June 19. The commencement was attended by thousands of beaming family, friends, and educators whose pride was apparent throughout the evening.
"The past two years in West Orange have been two of the most rewarding in my forty-year career," said outgoing Interim Superintendent James O'Neill. "The students are exceptional." O'Neill is departing the school district to begin work as the Interim Superintendent inthe Livingston School District on July 1.
"I am proud to be your principal," said Hayden Moore, completing his second year as principal of the 2,200+ student body. "And I am proud to stand with you as a West Orange High School Mountaineer," he said, choking back emotion.
A humorous speech by Valedictorian Susannah Crowell and an encouraging challenge to the graduates to follow their dreams by Salutatorian Emily Adelsohn brought applause from the graduates as Principal Moore acknowledged the growing percentage of female graduates embarking on science majors.
Board member Ron Charles, whose own son, Ron Jr., graduated, exhorted the students to live their lives with compassion. "People will not remember you for the money you make, but they will remember if you cared about them," Charles noted.
The top 5 per cent of the class received special medals for their accomplishment and the Graduation band performed a unique musical number entitled "Persistence." Graduating senior Chris Wold soloed on "I Believe" with the Honors Chamber Choir as seniors in both the chorus and band made their last appearances.
After diplomas were issued and caps were tossed, the graduates headed to the East Hanover Funplex for a fun-filled final night with friends at Project Graduation.
This has been an outstanding year for the high school, that has seen state and county athletic championships in soccer, track and bowling; seen several high academic performances from its graduating class, and several musical and thespian awards throughout the year with the Marching band, Wind Ensemble; Winter Color Guard, and actors.
Students from the graduating class of 2014 will be attending over 300 colleges and universities, including the Academy of Art University, Boston University, University of California, University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, McGill University, University of Miami, Northeastern University, Parsons The New School for Design, Penn State University, Princeton University, Syracuse University, Temple University, the University of Delaware and the United States Naval Academy and Air Force Training Academy.
Over one hundred and fifty (150) West Orange Mountaineers have chosen to remain in New Jersey to attend schools such as Rutgers University, Montclair University, Seton Hall, Monmouth University, Fairleigh Dickinson and New Jersey Institute of Technology.
For a complete list of West Orange High School Class of 2014 graduating seniors, go to: https://s3.amazonaws.com/altpress-uploads/Graduates2014.doc.
For a complete list of college and university acceptances of the graduating class of 2014, go to http://www.woboe.org/Pages/Highlight.aspx?ItemID=253.