Marlboro High School held its 86th Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2022 out on the football field under a beautiful sunny blue sky.
The Class of 2022 processed out onto the field to the concert band playing ‘Pomp and Circumstance,’ by Sir Edward Elgar. Senior Class President Douglas E. Benfer Jr. led in the Salute to the Flag, followed by High School Select Chorus singing the National Anthem.
Superintendent Michael Brooks, who will soon be retiring, gave his last Commencement Address to the Class of 2022. He said the excitement of graduation day, “is only overshadowed by the endless possibilities facing these fine people,” he said, giving thanks to Principal Lawler for his stewardship of these graduates and to the Board of Education for their leadership of the Marlboro School District.
Brooks noted that the Class of 2022, “could be but is not, defined by adversity, nor difference, nor events. Rather you’re defined by action, by challenge, by fortitude. 2022 has become for many a rebirth, a rejuvenation of lost experience.”
Brooks urged the Class of 2022 to start something new.
“The pandemic certainly occupied some of your high school years but it will not stand in the way of your future,” he said. “Grab opportunities; they’re on their way to you.”
Brooks encouraged the graduates see that the past and the future is about perspective.
“For sure it’s the end of 13 years of school, the end of what is comfortable, the end of what is known, the end of your parents funding all of your expenses, but for your future perspective, it’s also the beginning of the next chapter, your education, a new career, the beginning of assuming the new realities of life,” he said.
Brooks said the parents will see their child, “grow in ways you cannot imagine. Continue to foster that growth and don’t set any limits.”
Brooks spoke of a poem called the The Dash by Linda Ellis about who you became in life. The dash is the mark on a tombstone between one’s birth and death.
“For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars...the house...the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash...
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent YOUR dash?”
Board of Education President John Cantone urged the Class of 2022, “to recognize and embrace that learning is a life-long journey and is not something with a start and an ending and the last 13 years of school is the foundation of learning that you will build upon for years to come.”
Class Salutatorian Emma C. Schlagler began her speech by saying, “A wise woman once told me it is what it is and it isn’t what it isn’t. I have learned so much from her, especially in the last year. She taught me how to accept things as they are and how to balance school and life itself. I want to say developing this mindset has helped me more than anything. I promise you can do school [and] you don’t have to be hyper-focused on grades and all of that to be successful. Life is what you make of it regardless of where you end up. You cannot control the cards that you are dealt but you can control your reactions. With that being said I want to thank everyone for everything they’ve given me and I wish you all the best of luck in your futures,” she said.
Jaisal Patel delivered the Valedictorian Address.
“To the Class of 2022 here’s my advice; number one, each of us has opportunities along their journey and we must not fail to take these opportunities just because we think they are risky or we are doomed to be averages in a world full of, well, individuals stuck in a rat race.
Number two, every success is imbued with failure and the difference between those who succeed and those who are doomed to be left behind among the masses is learning from failure.
Number three, there will always be people who compete with you whether it is for a promotion, that you have just enough money to buy more clothes you will never touch again, or an innovative product that will turn your business into a money-making machine that eventually gets its share price dictated by 23 year-olds only buying shares of your stock for memes.”
Patel hopes his classmates will take his advice to heart, “and I appreciate everyone who has helped me on my way into the Class of 2022 and good luck with whatever path life takes you on.”
Class Advisor Katelin Brady said the Cane and Tassel Ceremony, “has come to denote the upper clansman’s commitment for encouraging school spirit and leadership, began in 1935. To symbolize the fulfillment of their commission, Senior Class President Douglas Benfer will place the 2022 tassel eye onto the cane and transfer the responsibility to Junior Class President Juliana Duarte.”
High School Principal Ryan Lawler said this class has overcome real challenges during their high school years.
“In life when difficult things happen there are often silver linings or those good things that come out of difficult situations...The labor market will have rich opportunities for your generation as you move on from high school. Another silver lining is your adaptability or your ability to pivot and be flexible to new realities. This will serve you well as adult life is full of unexpected surprises. Marlboro High School will always be grateful to you as you are a major factor in bringing our school back. This is an incredible school and you will look back in time and appreciate that you grew up here and graduated from Marlboro High School.”
After the presentation of diplomas, Principal Lawler instructed the student to transfer their tassels from right to left and called for an applause for their parents, extended family, faculty and staff.
“They have supported and guided you over the past 13 years. May God bless all of you, our town and our great nation. Congratulation Class of 2022,” he said.