BLOOMFIELD, NJ — The 168th graduation at Bloomfield High School was held at Foley Field on June 23 with 474 seniors listed in the program to receive diplomas. As is customary for BHS graduation ceremonies, unlike other schools in the area, adults make no laudatory speeches. Principal Chris Jennings introduced Bloomfield Superintendent of Schools Sal Goncalves, Assistant Superintendent Joseph Fleres and the attending Board of Education members as “people who have had an impact on your child’s education.” But Jennings seemed to add something new to his usual pronouncements when he called out, by name, the graduating seniors who would be entering military service. He then introduced Bloomfield elementary school principals and asked retiring teachers to rise when their names were called. From then on, younger voices were heard, including choral singing by the peerless BHS Madrigals, under the direction of Michelle Lampert.
Class President Jeremy Magno gave a thoughtful speech asking his classmates not to make the mistake of reflecting on the past.
“Let us conquer the past,” he said.
Emily Bautista, the salutatorian, told her classmates they would not remember the grades they received, but they would remember “how people made you feel.”
“Never give up a belief,” she said. “No matter your regrets, you will live the future as the person you can be proud of.”
Valedictorian Milena Sanchez read a letter to her class about returning to her alma mater Carteret Elementary School, what she experienced during her visit and how the students responded to having the top academic BHS student coming from their ranks.
Photos by Daniel Jackovino