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Old Bridge students excel due to ‘hard work’

OLD BRIDGE — Rahul Pemmaraju and Ravikirian Kandula soaked in the news that they were named valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the 2017 Old Bridge High School class.

“It’s an honor. … It feels good that all my hard work and all have been realized,” Ravikirian said.

Rahul said that although he had an idea of where he was in his class, he shared the same sentiments.

“It really hit me that all my hard work paid off in the end,” he said.

Rahul and Ravikirian were among 717 seniors to receive their diplomas at graduation ceremonies held June 20 at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.

A welcome address was given by Board of Education President Salvatore DiPrima and board members Richard Dunn and Kelly Ellis-Foster.

Old Bridge High School Principal Vincent Sasso gave the charge to the class and Old Bridge Schools Superintendent David Cittadino gave the presentation of the Class of 2017.

Diplomas were awarded by members of the Board of Education, Cittadino, members of the Administrative Leadership Team and Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry.

Old Bridge High School Vice Principal Sally Fazio gave the farewell speech to the 2017 senior class.

In the fall, Rahul will attend Rutgers University in New Brunswick with a focus in biomedical engineering. He said he will be on a pre-med track with the intentions of attending medical school after college.

Ravikirian will attend Brown University in Rhode Island with a focus in applied mathematics and economics.

During their time at Old Bridge High School, Rahul and Ravikirian not only excelled in academics, but participated in many activities inside and outside of school.

Rahul was on the varsity tennis team and academic team for four years, participated in the Rotary and Interact clubs, and was a member of the National Math Society and the Future Business Leaders of America.

Rahul said the close, tight-knit feel in the classroom and how his teachers taught the subjects could not be replaced.

“I don’t think I could get that anywhere else,” he said.

Ravikirian was a member of the varsity volleyball team, varsity track team in shot put and participated on the freshman football team.

He was on the academic team and served as treasurer of the Chinese Honor Society.

Ravikirian said looking back on his four years at Old Bridge High, he is going to miss all the memories and friends he has made and have seen day in and day out as they move onto the next journey in their lives.

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