PLUMSTED: New Egypt High School honors Class of 2013

Nearly 140 graduates took the next step of their lives at the June 18 commencement.

by James McEvoy, Managing Editor
PLUMSTED – The rain showers that forced the 2013 New Egypt High School commencement ceremony indoors could not dampen the spirits of 139 graduating seniors and their families.
   At the ceremony that served as the culmination of 12 years of studying, friendships and treasured memories, Dr. Jeanette Baubles, interim principal, welcomed and praised the newest NEHS graduates.
   ”Our graduates have excelled in academics, athletics and several co-curricular activities,” Dr. Baubles said. “More than that, our graduates have excelled in life, creating an opportunity they will soon realize in college and in the work place.”
   Acknowledging she had only known the students for a short period of time, she expressed pride in their success, which she said was built on a foundation created by faculty and staff.
   Superintendent Karen Jones thanked parents while recognizing educators and administrators, but saved her biggest praise for the seniors before her.
   ”This is your night,” Dr. Jones said. “It is a celebration of all of your accomplishments.”
   She also encouraged the students to look back on their years at NEHS fondly.
   ”In later years you will realize that it was one of the most significant milestones in your educational journey,” Dr. Jones said, urging the students to realize how fast the time has passed and how much faster it will go as their journeys continue.
   Reflecting on his own high school graduation, Plumsted Township Board of Education President Henry Miller proudly displayed a relic from his past — an 8-track tape.
   ”There are changes on the horizon,” Mr. Miller said, adding that students should use their experiences at NEHS to facilitate their goals.
   ”Take what you have learned and build on it,” he said. “There is an entire world out there for you to explore.”
   In her remarks, senior Kimberly Wilson expressed gratitude to parents and educators for preparing herself and her classmates for life after high school.
   ”We are you, we learn from you and we take all that you have to offer even if we don’t show it,” said Ms. Wilson, who served as student liaison to the board of education. “I have developed a true appreciation for everything our staff and our school does.”
   To her fellow graduates, she noted how their aspirations may have changed since they were in elementary school, but nevertheless told them to embrace dreams.
   ”My only hope is that all of my classmates achieve what they want to do after high school,” she said.
   Kodi Shol, NEHS teacher of the year, invoked the metaphor of a story to impart some final words of wisdom to the graduates, encouraging them to be true to themselves as they author their own life stories.
   Following the festivities, the graduates reflected on their years at NEHS and what lies beyond the hallways of the school that became a second home.
   ”It’s crazy how everything went by so fast. It feels like we were in kindergarten only like five years ago,” said William Raab, who will attend Rutgers University-Camden in the fall where hopes to study marketing and play baseball.
   Mr. Raab said though he looks forward to his future he will miss his classmates. He also said gained communication skills and an appreciation for deadlines — two things he expects will help him as an adult.
   Emma Bunce, who moved into the district at the beginning of her junior year, said she was welcomed quickly into a school community she will miss greatly.
   ”At first it was hard to adapt, but once the first week hit I was playing field hockey and the field hockey girls were so welcoming and everyone accepted me it was really awesome,” said Ms. Bunce, who will study business and play Division III lacrosse at Misericordia University in Pennsylvania.
   ”I think what I am going to remember the most is the friendships I made because I didn’t have that back where I used to go to school,” she said.
   Also recognized during commencement was Kim Mason, who was honored as the annual Friend of Education.
   Ms. Mason, whose son Kevin was among the graduates, was chosen in part due to her volunteering with Girl Scouts, Pop Warner and the high school PTO.