Oakcrest Falcons graduate under sunny blue skies

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Charlie Pritchard / Class Salutatorian Omee Upadhyaya recognized her fellow classmates for their many achievements. Charlie Pritchard / Class Salutatorian Omee Upadhyaya recognized her fellow classmates for their many achievements. HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – A decision made by the Oakcrest High School administration on Thursday, June 19 to postpone the graduation ceremony to the following day due to an ominous weather forecast proved to be quite fortunate as the graduates and their family members were able to enjoy the ceremony under sunny blue skies.

The Class of 2014 was not the only class recognized at the event. In his remarks, Principal Dan Money welcomed members of the Class of 1964, members, 55 of whom were there to celebrate their 50th reunion. That class was the first to have a graduating class in which the members attended the school for the first four years of its existence.

“Thank you for being the trailblazers,” Money said.

He also congratulated the graduates for having earned a total of $8.8 million in scholarships, a number that is still growing and is by far the most in the school’s history.

Social studies teacher Doug Cervi, who is retiring after 41 years of teaching at the school, was awarded a plaque from Hamilton Township by Class President Amber Anthony.

Class Salutatorian Omee Upadhyaya began her speech by quoting Mahatma Gandhi.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world,” Omee said. “I hear this quote, and I think of our class.  Since last year, an outstanding 84 of our classmates have earned membership into our National Honor Society.  We have also taken existing traditions, such as pep rallies, and made them our own.”

She closed by telling her classmates, ”Recognize your true potential.  Set goals for yourself, not limits.  Believethat you can achieve anything you aim for, and with effort, you will succeed.”

Emily Hanna, the class valedictorian, told her classmates that when they first entered high school they all expected different things.

“In reality, high school is more than just some place you come for seven hours a day, 180 days a year, for four years,” Hanna said. “It’s about exploration, about finding who you are, who you’re not, and who you want to be. It’s where you try on different identities like they’re prom dresses, where you make friendships and break friendships and somehow try to manage to do all this while balancing a stack of textbooks in the other hand.

“When I think about where I was four years ago, or even where I was a year ago, I am amazed at how far I have come. When I think about us, all of us, what we were like four years ago, I am amazed at how far we have come.  And I’m sure, four years from now, wherever you are, you will look back to this very moment and once again reflect on how very far you have come.”

Following the awarding of the diplomas, the graduates congratulated each other before celebrating with their family and friends.

Wherever they go from there they can look back to remember the words spoken by Class President Anthony:

“No matter where we end up in life, we will always have these past four years in Oakcrest to fondly remember. We will always be Falcons!”


 

For more on the Class of 2014 click here:

Oakcrest High School top ten

Oakcrest High School Class of 2014

Click here for more Oakcrest High School coverage

Charlie Pritchard / A combo from the Oakcrest High School band entertained the spectators before the graduates appeared. Charlie Pritchard / A combo from the Oakcrest High School band entertained the spectators before the graduates appeared.

Charlie Pritchard / Soloists Molly Huber,18, and Tarah Brown,17, leads the Oakcrest High School Choir in a rendition of ,“What I Did for Love.” Charlie Pritchard / Soloists Molly Huber,18, and Tarah Brown,17, leads the Oakcrest High School Choir in a rendition of ,“What I Did for Love.”

Charlie Pritchard / Sister Alexa Ferraro, grandmother Marie Ferraro and mother Christina Ferraro were on hand to cheer on graduate Christina Ferraro. Charlie Pritchard / Sister Alexa Ferraro, grandmother Marie Ferraro and mother Christina Ferraro were on hand to cheer on graduate Christina Ferraro.

Charlie Pritchard / Retiring social studies teacher Doug Cervi is awarded a plaque from Hamilton Township by Class President Amber Anthony. Charlie Pritchard / Retiring social studies teacher Doug Cervi is awarded a plaque from Hamilton Township by Class President Amber Anthony.

Charlie Pritchard / Robert Teuell, 18, stands when Principal Dan Money asks who would be entering the military. He will be joining the United States Army. Charlie Pritchard / Robert Teuell, 18, stands when Principal Dan Money asks who would be entering the military. He will be joining the United States Army.

Charlie Pritchard / Following her speech, Valedictorian Emily Hanna rejoins her classmates to await the awarding of the diplomas. Charlie Pritchard / Following her speech, Valedictorian Emily Hanna rejoins her classmates to await the awarding of the diplomas.

Charlie Pritchard / Hamilton Township Police Officer Christopher Prychka, who was on duty for the ceremony, had the opportunity to present a  diploma to his daughter Lindsey Lynn Prychka. Charlie Pritchard / Hamilton Township Police Officer Christopher Prychka, who was on duty for the ceremony, had the opportunity to present a diploma to his daughter Lindsey Lynn Prychka.

Charlie Pritchard / Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School Board of Education member Jennifer Johnson hands a diploma to Colin Grabel. Charlie Pritchard / Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School Board of Education member Jennifer Johnson hands a diploma to Colin Grabel.

Charlie Pritchard / Members of the Class of 1964 were on hand to help celebrate their 50th reunion. Charlie Pritchard / Members of the Class of 1964 were on hand to help celebrate their 50th reunion.


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