Observing a year of firsts and lasts at HHS

   TRENTON — "Para la clase del dos mil seis, les queremos desear mucho éxito … Como dijo Confucio, ‘A qualquier lugar que vayan, vayan con todo el corazón.’"

   Or, "To the class of 2006, we want to wish you much success … Like Confucius said, ‘Wherever you go, go with all your heart,’" fellow salutatorians Simon Gordonov and Karina Martinez-Carter told the 308 graduates of Hightstown High School’s Class of 2006 at the Sovereign Bank Arena on Wednesday evening.
By: Cara Latham
   TRENTON — "Para la clase del dos mil seis, les queremos desear mucho éxito … Como dijo Confucio, ‘A qualquier lugar que vayan, vayan con todo el corazón.’"
   Or, "To the class of 2006, we want to wish you much success … Like Confucius said, ‘Wherever you go, go with all your heart,’" fellow salutatorians Simon Gordonov and Karina Martinez-Carter told the 308 graduates of Hightstown High School’s Class of 2006 at the Sovereign Bank Arena on Wednesday evening.
   This was the first time in the high school’s history of 92 graduating classes that two students shared the honor, they told the crowd, as Simon read part of their speech in English and Karina followed in Spanish.
   The ceremony also marked the last year the students marched in and sat in boy-girl arrangements to form separated blue and white columns in honor of the late William Roesch, former principal of the school who died in December 2003. The Class of 2006 was the last to have known Mr. Roesch.
   Simon and Karina spoke of the memories that the students have shared for about 13 years, highlighting some of the popular fads that occurred while the students were growing up. The students went through the years playing with Pokemon cards, witnessing the rise and fall of boy bands and wanting to morph into Power Rangers, said Karina.
   "We have been the best of friends, the worst of enemies and we have changed," she said. "We walked together, rode bikes together, and now drive together," she said.
   In the fall, Simon plans to attend Rutgers University, while Karina has been accepted to Northwestern University.
   Before Simon and Karina spoke, Student Council President Tiffany Takter also talked about shared memories. Even though she was nervous to attend Hightstown High School upon moving to the borough when she was in eighth grade, she said, she would not have wanted to attend high school anywhere else.
   "I think the main reason I have enjoyed Hightstown High School so much is because of its diversity," she said. "Here in Hightstown, we could all be involved in pretty much anything. We see and experience things that students at many other schools do not. This opportunity is so important because we will be the ones who will shape the future of the world."
   Like the salutatorians, she, too, thanked her parents in a foreign language. She also shared advice her father gave her about her future.
   "Make sure that whatever you do makes you happy because that’s the job that will wake you up every morning," she said.
   Valedictorian Karambir Khangoora quoted Thomas Edison by saying that opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. But, he said, the 2006 Hightstown High School class has taken advantage of opportunities and overcome challenges in order to graduate.
   Relative to the trials and tribulations that others around the world face, the challenges his class has to overcome are "largely irrelevant," he said.
   "Why? Because a genocide is occurring in Sudan, because millions are dying of HIV AIDS in India and China, because slavery still exists in Sub-Sahara Africa … because nations and people have yet to learn to solve their problems peacefully," he said.
   Because the members of the graduating class don’t have to worry about such grave dangers, they have a responsibility to help others, said Karambir.
   "Class of 2006, the world is in need of a jumpstart, and we have the opportunity to be that spark," he said.
   Karambir plans to attend Princeton University in the fall on a full scholarship.
   During the ceremony, Student Council Vice President Sarah Esralew delivered a tribute to Tina Petri, the choir director who died in September, pointing to her "unforgettable manner of gentleness and unsurpassable amount of patience."
   Before presenting the class to Superintendent Ron Bolandi for graduation, Principal John Ward gave the students one last lesson — a trip back in time as he gave some history about the first Hightstown High School graduation in 1915, when the graduating class had eight female and two male graduates. Woodrow Wilson was president, all films were in black and white with no sound, and the Titanic sank when the first graduating class was freshmen, he said.
   "They did not have to take U.S. History II because it had not yet happened," he jovially remarked, drawing laughter from the audience.
   Mr. Bolandi told the class that by the time they reach old age, they will possibly have had about 13 or 14 different jobs and about four different career changes. Because the next four years of their lives will be instrumental in shaping their futures, he warned them to take them seriously and "hit the books."
   "Always remember one thing — a lot of things in life can be taken away from you. … But no one can take your dreams away," Mr. Bolandi said.
The graduates:
   The following is a list of the 2006 Hightstown High School graduates: Benito Gregorio Abril, Adam Mac Adlerman, Sumit Agrawal, Alta-Eldin Mohamed Ahmed, Rafia Ahsan, Eric S. Alkalay, Ashley Marie Allen, Michael Eric Alster, Anthony Paul Altamura, Veronica S. Alvarez, Ami J. Amin, Ashwin Anantharaman, Sarah Jeanne Anders, Dina Michelle Anderson, Jowaad Mohammad Anwar, Henry Appiah, Kenneth Charles Applegate, Mayra Alejandra Arce, Paulina E. Arevalo, Jelani Kwesi Asante, Gillian Patrice Astarita, Julshale Aughenbaugh, Bryan Michael Balaban, Evin James Bangs, Alexander E. Barillas, Erica Jill Baskin, Heather M. Becchina, Kory Bell, Kelly Louise Bircsak, Kristin Marie Bircsak, Prevert Max Bleck, Michael Joseph Boguszewski, Victoria L. Bond, Autumn Marie Boryeskne, Cody J. Boyer, Preet S. Braich, Tomeicka M. Branson, Emily Elizabeth Brett, Leo John Brunetti, Christopher Emilio Bryant, Paige Elizabeth Bryce, Margaret Isolina Burton, Bradley D. Butler, Nicholas Clayton Byrne, Magdeleine Cabanzo, Jhonny Gustavo Cáceres, Maria Francisca Campos, Luis Enrique Cando, Jonathan Tefft Caponi, Roger L. Carroll, Armondo Castenada, Lorena Andrea Cavieses, Bryan Luis Chavez, Mei Q. Chen, Christopher Ming-Wai Cheng, Alexandria Ames Cheshier, Javeria Chishty, Cesar N. Choco, Kavon Deshawn Choice, Jamaal A. Christopher, Kori Mari Clanton, Christin Lauren Clark, Daniel George Clark, Jessica Brooke Cohen, Brian Phillip Cohen, Jeremy S. Cokeley, Gabriel Immanuel Collazo, GeorgeEdward Conley V, Joseph M. Cordisco, Heather Marie Cordo, Ixchel Yazziree Cordoba, Mark Andrew Cormack, Lyssa Anne Cousineau, Joseph Edward Coyle, Erik James Crawford, edgar Ismael Crisanto-Pelaez, Caroline Marie Cummings, Jan Hunton Czyzewski, Brian Robert Davis, Mona Jamnadas Dekivadia, Keen Delacruz, Shelby Lynn Delfino, Michael J. Demko, Andrew James Di Cecco, Madalyn Dolan, Brian D. Domanski, Andrew William Donnegan, Richard Doughterty, Amy Eileen Doyle, Chelsea Marie Edwards, Timothy James Egan, Lauren Theresa Elwell, Einar Enrique, Lisbeth Gabrila Espinoza, Sarah Ellen Esralew, Trevor John Evans, Caroline Stafford Fabian, Sean Timothy Fallon, Nathan Peter Feinberg, Alita Anne Ficarro, Leeanna Mari e Findley, Gina Enjoli Fontanez, Alyssa Ashley Foote, Andrew L. Forer, Daniel James Foster, Stephanie Edith Franzo, Ryan Anthony Franzo, Robert Anthony Freund, Akwasi Edusei Genfi, Julia Barbara Gilchrist, Scott William Glazer, Thomas Glick, Lance M. Gobaira, Ryan James Godbold, Adam Gonzalez, Anibal Gonzalez Jr., Simon Gordonov, Alpanan Kiran Gowdar, Ryan V. Grasso, Ashley Constance Grbac, Michael Greiff, John Joseph Grelis V, Brian Joseph Gruber, Danielle N. Guarino, Jennifer Guzman, Mazhar D. Hameed, Jonathan Aaron Harlich, Benjamin Eric Harms, Danielle Shardae Harper, Torrey M. Harper, Terrill Da’shawn Harris, Katherine Elizabeth Hazard, Matthew Thomas Henderson, Alisa C. Henry, David L. Henry, Andrea Suzana Herrera, Monica Louise Holness, Jeremiah Javier Horta, Amanda Kaye Huelbig, Constance Lynnette Humphrey, Ian Maxwell Humphrey, Daniel Indellicati, Michele Rose Jacobsen, James Lee Jaketic, Michael Jaramillo, Cristena Leigh Jenner, Bryan F. Jones, Danielle Marie Jones, Luis A. Jumbo, Amanda Rae Kanitra, Jason Daniel Katcher, Alexa Jade Katz, Ramandeep Kaur, Megan Chelsea Kelly, Kristen Marie Kelty, Jennifer MarieKennedy, Karambir Singh Khangoora, Zainab A. Khomusi, Luke Thomas Kiensicki, Michael Kilhullen, Aaron R. King, Erika Imani Kirton, Jennifer Marie Klose, Lindsay Michelle Kohn, Andrew D. Kuhn, Stephanie Suzanne Lauda, Sadie Nicole Lee, Juan Pablo Lemus, Jennifer Amy Lenhart, Davida Lentini, Giovana Leonardo, Melissa Yibersi Leonardo, David Matthew Lerner, Eitan Ariel Levine, Dustin D.C. Lewis, Ethan Lee Lippman, Chad A. Longo, Ricky Lorenzo, Katherine A. Lukens, Jessica Yifan Ma, Shaivya Mahajan, Syed Ariq Mahmud, Jessica Bryn Manochio, Joseph Anthony Marenda, Jon-Paul Martinez, Karina Ruth Martinez-Carter, Samantha Ann Mateyka, Erwin Mazariegos, Caroline Marie McCarthy, Sean R. McHugh, Georgia Miao, Kayla Harper Miller, Kyle G. Miller, Steven Matthew Mills, Hiren Ramchandra Mistry, Axel Travis Molina, Andrea Monterroso, Juan C. Naulaguari, Ashley Lauren Nelson, Jamal Stefan Neptune, Matthew Tyler Nieliwocki, Juan P. Nivicela, Ishmael F. Njinimbam, Kyle J. Nowacki, Gina Odato, Ellie Cherise Ohanian, Paul V. Ojeda, Odili C. Onochie, Ashley May Oppon, Mayra Ordoñez, Nadia M. Ordoñez, Angie Vanessa Orellana, Rachel L. Orlen, Shaina L. Palmere, Deval D.Parikh, DeAndrea Faith Parrott, Keith David Pascal, Jaymin B. Patel, Neel Jayesh Patel, Payal Pravinbhai Patel, Samir Vasant Patel, Sapan S. Patel, Cesar Gustavo Patino, Lisseth Annabelle Pauta, Edgar Pelaez, Vanessa Ilyse Perez, Kyle Stanley Peskosky, Matthew H. Peterson, Brittany Anne Piarulli, Dorian A. Picott, Stephanie Marie Pikus, Brendon T. Pinherio, John Pabel Pintado, John Patricio Quezada, Marie Jose Qunide, Andrea M. Radtke, Rajath Ramakrishna, Juan Sebastian Ramos, Felicia Monique Randolph, Jamie Lynn Raymond, Christopher M. Reilly, Kelsey Lee Reimbold, Jacob Wilson Rios, Jose A. Rivera, Wibur Rivera, Alize Matilde Rodriguez, Ashley Elizabeth Rooks, Colleen Rooney, Christina M. Rosario, Benjamin A. Rosenberg, Gabriella Nicole Rosenblum, Nicolo Rossi, Travis P. Rothbloom, Nicole Gabrielle Rozenblat, Amanda L. Ruch, Steven Andrew Sachs, SamuelC. Salter, Roxana Allis Sanchez, Martha Sanchez-Navarro, Diana Isabel Saquicela, Viviana Elizabeth, Sasaguay, Erin Mary Saunders, Zachary Justin Schaldonat, Tiffany Joan Schmidt, David William Scullin, Alejandra Marie Segura, Henry G. Serrano, Kristen Joanne Shillaber, Jennifer A. Sierra, Marc Silverman, Michael Paul Silverman, Rachel Lorraine Simpson, Avtar Singh, Jyoti Singh, Simarjit Singh, Christine Anne Sisk, Henry Siu, Amoie H. Smith, Justin Ryan Smith, Shane Matheson Smith, Ankit Bhara Soni, Robert Paul Souza, Sara Lindsay Spingler, Lauren Ashley Stabile, Meaghan Anne Stecher, George Edward Steve, Alexander James Stone, Kimberly Ann Stout, Anna Victoria Subramaniam, Karthik Soma Sundaram, Andhrea Vivianna Tagle, Tiffany Christina Cathy Takter, André D. Thompson, Elaysha Pamella Thompson, Loren Dwight Tingen, Adriana Toro, Stephanie Nicole Torrey, Hector E. Tovar, Jesus Miguel Tovar, Elisabeth Maria Troy, Morgan D. Turcus, P. Mariocr Valenzuela, Kaitlyn John Valluzzo, Luis Benito Vargas-Colon, Ricky James Vetick, Robert Michael Vetter, Ryan Gerard Vetter, Kristin Viallante, Ariane Nicole Vozar, JymmeAnne Lois Walton, Neil G. Washington, James L. Watson, Jhanet Leanore Wilson, Casey Lee Wolfe, Morgan Michelle Woroniecki, Paul Steven Wright II, Ajay Shivaling Yaragatti, Mark Ho Yim, Fernando Andres Zea Serpa, Sara Marissa Ziegelbaum and Spencer Eli Zlatin.