Jackson seniors will graduate on June 25


JACKSON — There are only a few hours left before students at Jackson Memorial High School and Jackson Liberty High School take part in graduation ceremonies that will mark the end of their high school careers.

Weather permitting, the simultaneous ceremonies will begin at 4 p.m. June 25.

If the weather is inclement, the Jackson Memorial graduation will be held in the school’s Fine Arts Center instead of outdoors on Munley Field, and the Jackson Liberty graduation will be held in the school’s auditorium instead of outdoors on the football field.

Parents and guests at the two high schools are expected to see a total of 739 students graduate from Jackson Memorial and Jackson Liberty, many of whom have distinguished themselves as scholars, athletes and citizens.

Among these students are three National Merit Scholarship Commended Students and 23 Edward J. Bloustein Scholars. Collectively, the students were offered more than $12 million in scholarships and were accepted to schools including Harvard, Duke, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, the United States Naval Academy, the United States Coast Guard Academy, Clemson, Dartmouth, Vanderbilt, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Boston University, Penn State, Rutgers, Stevens Institute of Technology, the University of Virginia, New York University, Purdue and Tulane.

“Each year when we stop to look at the accomplishments of the graduating class, when we see the schools to which our students were accepted, and when we realize the amount of funding that various colleges offered to entice them to attend their schools, it is a very rewarding feeling,” Jackson Superintendent of Schools Thomas Gialanella said. “It is our job to prepare these students for life, and we are doing that. The entire community of Jackson should be very proud of what we are all accomplishing together.”

At Jackson Liberty, the school’s second commencement ceremony will include 330 students who were the first group of students to attend the school for all four years of their high school careers.

“They are lions through and through,’’ Principal Maureen Butler said, referring to the school’s mascot. “I first met all of them when they were in eighth grade, just before they joined the Liberty family, and I had the privilege of watching them blossom into capable young adults over the last four years. I am so proud of them.”

Across town at Jackson Memorial’s 45th commencement ceremony, 409 seniors will not only say goodbye to their high school days, but also to their principal, Tony Gaita, who is retiring this year.

“The class of 2010 demonstrates excellence in a variety of areas. They continue to build upon the great traditions built at JacksonMemorial High School through their academic achievement, scholarship awards, musical and theatrical presentations, sports championships and their overall good nature and caring attitude. I have never seen a larger group of students gather and unite for a common cause to help and assist those in need or less fortunate,” Gaita said.