High school seniors on doorstep of future

By ANDREW MARTINS
Staff Writer

JACKSON — The friends, relatives, teachers and district administrators of nearly 800 graduating high school seniors will watch as Jackson’s young adults end the 2014-15 school year with their diplomas in hand and a future in their sights.

“The goal of any district is to prepare students for the real world, to make sure we are sending them out into their futures wellprepared and with the ability to think for themselves,” Interim Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Simone said.

“All members of the Jackson School District — parents, students, staff — should be proud of this group of students and proud of the investment that Jackson has made in what I am sure will be their very bright futures.”

Graduation ceremonies for Jackson Liberty High School and Jackson Memorial High School are scheduled for June 24.

Jackson Memorial seniors will graduate at 4 p.m., and Jackson Liberty seniors will graduate at 6 p.m. The graduation ceremonies will be held on the football field at each high school.

In the event of inclement weather, each high school would host its graduation in their respective gymnasium, although Jackson Memorial would split its ceremony and host the ceremonies at 4 and 6 p.m.

According to district administrators, about 92 percent of Jackson’s graduating seniors said they plan to seek a degree at two- and four-year colleges. Others will serve in the armed forces or pursue a career in the workplace.

Among the colleges and universities to which Jackson students have been accepted this year are the University of Pennsylvania, Boston College, Cornell University, Monmouth University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers University, Seton Hall University, Syracuse University and Pennsylvania State University.

“I think I speak for every member of the Board of Education when I say how proud we all are of each and every face that walks across that stage — and of every teacher, staff member and administrator who helped them get there. This is their day, but the Jackson community should all share that sense of pride,” Board of Education President Barbara Fiero said.

Jackson Liberty High School Principal Maureen Butler said this year’s graduating class was an asset not only to themselves, but also to the underclassmen.

“This is a class that truly knows that making a difference in a person’s life comes from the heart, and that is a lesson as valuable as any we could teach in a classroom,” Butler said.

“They served as such wonderful role models for the underclassmen. They led by example, they modeled excellence and leadership, and they are leaving this school a better place. I am incredibly proud to have been their principal and to have shared these last four years with them.”

For Jackson Memorial High School Principal Kevin DiEugenio, who started his tenure as the high school’s principal four years ago, this graduating class will hold a special place in his heart.

“We have been together all four years, and that feels special to me,” DiEugenio said. “I have watched them grow from wide-eyed freshmen into mature young adults who have embraced every opportunity we have given them and who have done us proud.”

Contact Andrew Martins at amartins@gmnews.com.