Red-and-blue clad students journey down the hill to an excited crowd as the graduation begins. Credits: Jackie Grossman
Members of the Governor Livingston High School Choir make their way down to their seats before the commencement ceremony begins. Credits: Jackie Grossman
Three bagpipers perform while marching as they lead the procession of teachers and seniors to their seats. Credits: Jackie Grossman
Senior Logan Turner delivers his commencement message. Credits: Jackie Grossman
Seniors pass the time by hitting a beach ball around them, a playful graduation tradition. Credits: Jackie Grossman
Like other classes before it, the class of 2012 leaves a memory of itself behind by printing the names of each graduate on the giant hill leading down to the football field. Credits: Jackie Grossman
Governor Livingston High School Bids Farewell to the Class of 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 • 11:23am
BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Crowds of excited friends and relatives made the trek down to the Governor Livingston High School football field on June 19 to celebrate another beautiful graduation ceremony.
As crowds of people made their way to the track, members of Link Crew, one of the many student organizations at Governor Livingston, handed out commencement programs. Golf carts waited at the top of the giant hill for anyone unable to walk down.
Audience members had already filled the lawn chairs placed in the center of the football field facing the stage. As a result, people began filling the bleachers located behind the chairs. To the left of the stage were seats set up for the soon-to-be graduates and to the right were bleachers for the choir and seats for the orchestra.
Well before graduation was scheduled to begin, orchestra members walked to their seats and practiced each of the songs detailed in the commencement program. Fifteen minutes before the graduation began, the sound of bagpipes—a Governor Livingston Highlander tradition— filled the air. Three pipers dressed in customary kilts led the procession of teachers and seniors down to the field.
The seniors, dressed in blue (males) and red (females) gowns, marched in two long lines the way they had been practicing for the past few days. Despite their attempt to act semi-serious during the march, many could not help but smile and wave at the cheering crowd. Many of the seniors had designed the top of their caps with phrases like “Seniors 2012” or the colleges they are attending this upcoming fall.
After they took their seats, Vice-President Catriona Quinn placed the ceremonial claymore into a rock on the giant hill, a tradition performed at every Governor Livingston High School commencement ceremony. President Matthew Gallitelli then led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Next, Governor Livingston’s choir performed the National Anthem, followed by senior class President Carolyn Lanza’s presentation of the senior class gift. The gift was a check to Governor Livingston toward improving the high school’s technology. Additionally, Lanza thanked two teachers, Mr. Sexton and Ms. Raviv, for their service and wished them a happy and healthy retirement.
Graduation essay winner Logan Turner then delivered his commencement message. Turner spent much of his message discussing the significance of a question he and his fellow seniors had been asked for what seemed like an eternity: “Where are you going?” He announced that he and the rest of the class of 2012 could not possibly tell the future and know where they are going, but that tonight (graduation) was a night about answering the question “Where have you been?”
Next up was Principal Scott McKinney to deliver his remarks. His speech’s theme focused on the title of this year’s yearbook “Make your Mark.” McKinney stated that the class of 2012 had certainly “made their mark” in Governor Livingston history. Some of the impressions left by the class included the fact that they took the school’s newspaper, The Highlander, online; this year’s softball team was the best in the county, and the band had won the ACC
championship for the second year in a row.
McKinney left the seniors with some last-minute advice: “The key to success is to never give up and to never stop growing”. With that, he congratulated the students on their accomplishments and handed the microphone over to Superintendent Judith Ratner.
Ratner also congratulated the seniors and let them know that they were special. She also asked the students’ parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, teachers, and coaches to stand up and receive a round of applause. Without them, she stated, the seniors would not have become the mature and determined young men and women they are today.
Finally, members of the Board of Education awarded the seniors with their diplomas. Each senior took a “victory lap” around the turf.