Each school year rightfully ends with the pomp and circumstance of promotions for elementary and middle schools, and the long-held tradition and celebration of the high school graduation. This milestone is the baseline of a child’s education and a springboard to their future.
At the recent graduation ceremony, as Superintendent of the Montville Township Public Schools, I certified to the community that the students satisfactorily completed the prescribed rigorous course of study by the Board of Education, met all State of New Jersey requirements, and are entitled to all the rights, privileges, and honors pertaining to a Montville Township High School diploma.
This honor came as a result of thirteen years of education and each child involving themself in the academics, arts, athletics, and activities in a way that was befitting of their individual journey. They all succeeded and are ready for what their future holds. 94% of the students will attend college, some will serve in the military, while others will join the workforce. Each one will contribute to this great country and make a significant impact upon all they come in contact with.
As much as the ceremony is an honor of achievement for the senior sitting in the chair on the athletic field, it is even more of a momentous occasion of pride for the parents, grandparents, friends, family, and educators who accompanied that senior along the way. We all are eager to see each graduate take their next steps in life.
At the graduation ceremony, I shared the following words:
Seniors, last year, we were all on the same trajectory. During your junior year, you began the journey of what you were going to do and where you were going to go after graduation. You put in countless hours of research, had many discussions with friends and families, and ultimately made the decision to follow your dreams after leaving Montville Township High School.
Similarly, last year I began looking to make a change in my career. I investigated my options and consulted with friends and family. Like you, I too did my research regarding the best choice for my future.
Life is not stagnant and we make decisions as we pursue new goals, opportunities, and dreams. The change may be a little scary and you may have some doubts, but know in your heart that you have made the right choice and that you have everyone in attendance, both here and virtually, watching from around the globe, supporting you and wishing you well in all of your endeavors.
As for me, I have been rewarded for making the decision to change and come to Montville. Everyday I see the motto - Educate Inspire Empower - which embodies all that we believe for the students of our school system. These words motivate me and I see examples of you carrying out these words on a daily basis.
In the classroom, your teachers helped educate you to be the best version of yourself; you inspired us when we saw you perform on the athletic field, theater stage, or in an academic competition; and because of who you are you were then empowered to go beyond yourself and help others in need through various clubs and activities.
When I attended the Mustang Marching Band Banquet in the Fall, the theme was Spark, Wonder, Imagination, and Playtime. As you go forward, the faculty and staff wish for all of you to find the spark that will motivate you to change the world, encourage you to wonder at the natural and manmade beauty all around you, hope that you can imagine ways to improve the lives of those who surround you, and, when appropriate, reward yourself with playtime to relax and enjoy life.
On a personal note, I would like to thank each of you for making my first year in Montville so outstanding. It has been a pleasure to celebrate your successes with you, and now address you at commencement. You set a high standard for those that follow and left a lasting legacy upon Montville Township High School. Tomorrow is the first day of a new beginning and I hope your new journey is as memorable and successful as this year has been for me.
Congratulations on today’s wonderful life achievement.
I wish all the readers of the column a terrific summer!
-June 23, 2023
by Dr. Thomas A. Gorman also appears in
"The Citizen" newspaper and on-line at "MontvilleTAP"