WESTFIELD, NJ -- Westfield Senior High School’s Thursday evening commencement exercises offered 455 of its students to the workforce, learning institutions, and universities after years of tedious preparation for a life of ethical responsibility, personal integrity, and a never-ending passion for learning.

Thursday’s ceremonies were scheduled for 6 o’clock on the high school’s spacious athletic fields, but instead were held under the roof of the neighboring armory due to threatening weather conditions. Westfield Board of Education members, high school faculty and staff, the graduates, and hundreds of family and friends packed in to the standing room-only armory to witness the promotion of Westfield High School’s Class of 2011.

The ceremony was concise and memorable. Once the graduates were seated, Student Council Vice President Travis Przybylski narrated the Pledge of Allegiance. Following Przybylski’s salute, Senior Class Presidents Catalina Gaglioti and Cynthia Lam, along with Student Council President Katie Poncé, excitedly welcomed all in attendance.

Next to the stage was Principal Peter Renwick with the announcement of honors and awards. The Class of 2011 received a remarkable 360 academic honors from six categories, with many students earning multiple distinctions for their academic dedication. One Hundred and ninety-six Westfield Blue Devils earned the President’s Award of Academic Distinction, 126 are members of the National Honor Society, 27 earned National Merit Letters of Commendation, and seven graduates were honored with Perfect Academic Distinction.

Three students, Nicholas Chopey, Alexandra Frankel, and Anne Maguire were National Merit Semi-Finalists and Finalists. Danielle Fields was the lone recipient of a National Merit Scholarship. Fields, along with Amelia Morabito, Melissa Morawski, and Matthew Ritter, were mentioned in four of the six possible award categories.

One hundred and sixty-nine awards and scholarships from seven categories were awarded to Westfield graduates, who will travel local and abroad to pursue heir dreams. The Class of 2011 will spread itself across our country in their pursuits, from local Rutgers University to not-so-local Washington University.

Additionally, awards were given to PTSO Outstanding Teacher Marie-Laurie Hoffmann, Distinguished Teacher of the Year Charles Ropars, and Sandra Mamary, recipient of the Robert and Linda Foose Memorial Award.

With the ceremony coming to a close, the graduates receded towards the exits under the sounds of “Westfield Victorious”, a fitting tune to march along with as the graduates begin towards their adult lives.