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Manchester High School Graduation Ceremony Takes Place Under Sunny Skies

Courtesy of Manchester Township School District
Courtesy of Manchester Township School District
Courtesy of the Manchester Township School District:

The Manchester Township High School Class of 2014 had a beautiful day for their graduation ceremony, held on the school’s football field on June 24.

The ceremony was dedicated in memory of Francesca Previti and Trevor Martin, who should have been graduating with the Class of 2014, and Mrs. Tara Gardner, a teacher who passed away this year.  Empty chairs were in place to symbolize their presence at the ceremony.

Parents, friends and family cheered as the Class of 2014 marched onto the field, with the boys wearing blue caps and gowns and the girls wearing gold. The school’s NJROTC Color Guard presented the colors as Student Government Officers, Erin Rogers and Joshua Perez, led the flag salute and the MTHS Choir sang the National Anthem.  MTHS Principal, Dennis Adams, acted as master of ceremonies. 

Senior Class President, Anysia Seward, welcomed family, friends and staff. 

“From the greatest times to the worst we stand in front of you as near alumni of Manchester Township High School,” she said.  “This graduating class is one of the strongest to come out of this building.  We learned as a class tomorrow is never promised, and never let the tough times take over.  As Trevor Martin would say, ‘stop trippin’. Cherish every memory you make and be happy guys because we finally made it!”

There were two Salutatorian speeches because Shauna Eltink and Michael Statile tied for the number two student spot.

Eltink said that she didn’t want to talk about the clichés about high school being the best time of your life.

“Although at the moment, it may seem like high school is everything, it’s not.  High school is a mere stepping-stone emerging onto the long path of life,” she remarked.  “Class of 2014, we are the future, the next generation.  While MTHS gave us the freedom to impact the school, we now have the opportunity to impact the world as adults.  There are no limits to what we can achieve, but remember, if you only strive for mediocrity, that’s all you’ll ever get.”

Statile told the class, “We have all accomplished so much these past four years, and I am so proud to be able to say that I have made so many memories with so many of you in those seats today.  We made it!”

He spoke about memories from each year of high school, including a tribute to history teacher Mr. Musolf and his ‘Rule 32’, which includes such wisdom as ‘Failure is in fact an option, so finish strong.’ 

Valedictorian, Sydney Kauffman, said she wanted to speak about the adversity that is ahead for the Class of 2014.

 “Being a Hawk, we all know what adversity is,” she said, referring to the losses suffered by the class.  “As we face adversity we will come away with losses and sacrifice, but when we win, the victory will be triumphant and sweet.  When you face this adversity, remember that you are a Hawk and as a school we have helped one another get through turbulent times, but at that moment, you have to be strong enough to help yourself...Now go out there and show the world what you’ve got and do not be afraid to face adversity.”

Class Officers Anysia Seward, Matthew Fullerton, Kaila Ciccio, Caitlyn Sloan, Raymond Javier, and Michael Statile presented thank-you gifts to their class advisors, Mrs. Heather Staples and Mr. Dan Staples, and also presented the class gifts to the school.  The class purchased memorial plaques for Previti, Martin and Gardner to be placed in the school’s new Fallen Hawks Memorial Garden.

Superintendent of SchoolsDavid Trethaway, accepted the gifts and congratulated the class.  Board of Education President Donald Webster, Jr., also congratulated the class.

After each graduate received their diploma, Student Government Officers, Vionna Richardson and Tom Lloyd, led the graduates in the traditional changing of the tassels from left to right.

Student Government President, Victoria Dambrowski, made the closing remarks, speaking about memories made in the past four years and how the class was brought together and made stronger through the loss of their classmates"

“Frankie and Trevor taught us that life really is too short and from then on our class grew stronger,” she said.

She also thanked parents, teachers, counselors, and advisors who helped them throughout the years. 

“Because of them we are ready to take the leap out of the Hawks’ nest and soar on our own.”

Mr. Adams congratulated the class, telling them he is very proud of them and will miss them. The ceremony ended with the graduates tossing their caps into the air before leaving the field on their way to hugs and congratulations from their proud parents and families.


s j bates June 25, 2014 at 09:06 PM
congrats to the class of 2014 welcome to the Alumni of the Hawks now go spread those wings and soar in the real world

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