WEST ORANGE, NJ — Liberty Middle School graduated 251 eighth-grade students on June 19 in a midday ceremony at West Orange High School. Families of the graduates filled the auditorium as Principal Bob Klemt congratulated the students and parents on their accomplishments.
“Ceremonies such as this provide opportunities to reflect on achievements and memories from the past two years,” Klemt said. “For me it has been very rewarding watching each of you interact in class and learn. You have all matured and grown socially and have accomplished so much — whether that’s earning honor roll grades, serving on our award-winning Student Council, helping your sports team to victory, or being one of the many students recognized at our academic and related arts awards assembly this morning.”
Klemt went on to discuss the students’ commitment to community service.
“It was also gratifying seeing how all of you became involved in our Liberty community, something our staff continually encouraged. Many watched or were involved in the February Talent Show, many participated in the play ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ a large number created displays and performed at the Cultural Expo, and so many were active in our after-school clubs, our 11 sports teams, and the various school spirit events, such as Character Day, advisory contests, and school dances,” he said. “The colorful locker signs and my ongoing Twitter feed were evidence of everyone’s school participation.
“I would encourage each of you to continue participation in school and service activities during the next four years,” he continued. “Competing on any of the 20 or so sports teams West Orange High offers, joining the marching band or step teams, or participating in the wide range of after-school clubs would certainly enrich your high school experience.
“On behalf of the entire staff, we wish the Liberty Class of 2018 congratulations and best wishes in the years to follow.”
West Orange High School Principal Hayden Moore welcomed the graduates to the high school and underscored the importance of working hard and getting involved. Moore’s daughter, Mia, was one of the graduates and will be attending the high school in the fall.
The Liberty orchestra performed Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” under the direction of Dave Rimelis.
Special awards included the “Liberty Awards of Distinction,” given to Stephany Andrade and Brianna Dannemiller, and presented by Assistant Principal Michelle Martino. Klemt presented the West Orange Community Mayor’s Award to Aaliyah Kamalei and Soham Bhatnagar. Creative Achievement Award winners Rhoda Oni, Trinity Rojas and Tesia Thomas read their works to an appreciative audience. Guidance Counselor Stephanie Nesbit then presented Awards of Academic Excellence to students with straight “A” report cards for both seventh- and eighth-grade.
Photos Courtesy of WOSD