CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham High School Class of 2012 held their graduation ceremonies on Thursday evening.
The commencement was held out of doors at the Chatham High School with nearly 300 graduates receiving their diplomas. This senior class is the largest class ever to graduate from the high school and have been praised for working hard and meeting the standards set by both teachers and coaches. They are considered to be a dedicated and committed group of young people.
The Schmidt family had twin daughters Eve and Jennifer graduating. Mrs. Schmidt said that her family was "very happy." Senior Nicholas Rouillard had his family at the ceremonies including his grandmother who said she was "tremendously proud." Roger Rogalin, former board of education president and parent of senior Dylan Rogalin commented, "Tonight feels great. I couldn't be prouder of this system. Chatham has a fabulous school district."
As the ceremonies opened, The Chatham High School Band played "Pomp and Circumstance" as administrators, board members, and faculty led the processional followed by the graduates. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Salutatorian Frederick Heller. The Select Choir performed the "The Star Spangled Banner" and the "Alma Mater."
The graduation ceremony included welcoming comments and an address by the class valedictorian, Amy J. Lee. She congratulated her fellow classmates and said in her speech, "We are a class of individuals." She also pointed out that the last 12 years of schooling have been lessons in character. Lee also received the Principal's Cup.
The 2012 Distinguished Teacher Recognition was presented to Chatham High School's Nurse, Carol Pace, for her "genuine care, comfort, and concern." Scholarship announcements were made by Julie Patterson, Director of School Counseling, who pointed out that there were many talented and deserving students throughout the entire senior class.
Chatham High School Principal, Darren Groh, made the "Presentation of the Class of 2012." In his comments he said that the class had experienced the best training in their schooling thanks to the extraordinary faculty and the support of Chatham parents. He also said that the class in the last 12 years had gone "from blackboards to white boards" and pointed out that technological advances have been an integral part of the students' education. Groh said that the Chatham Class of 2012 was exceptional in the classroom, in the arts, and in athletics.
The diplomas were presented to students by school board members Tom Belding and Jill Critchley Weber, Director of School Counseling Julie Patterson, and Assistant Principal Lori Gironda. The "Conferment of Graduation" was made by Belding. The graduates and faculty recessed with enthusiasm while the band played "Emblem of Unity."
The students were pleased to graduate. Senior Sarah Fabian said, "It feels amazing to be completing high school but it is bittersweet. I'm going to miss everyone I grew up with." Senior Stefan Gamon agreed. "It feels very good. I'm happy high school is over but at the same time, its kind of sad. I'm going to miss all the good times but I'm looking forward to summer."
With commencement exercises behind them, the Chatham High School Seniors can look forward to bright futures because of the education and support they received during their high school careers.