EDISON — In a time of uncertainty, Edison High School salutatorian Christopher Kozak called on his fellow Eagles to reach new heights and move to their next chapters of life with kindness.
“We have grown up in a society where we have seen too much not to react. … Apathy is no longer an option,” he said as he addressed his class at the 59th commencement ceremony that was held at the Louis Brown Athletic Center at Rutgers University in Piscataway on June 20.
Principal Charles Ross said the young voices of the Class of 2018 refused to be silent following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a 19-year-old gunman shot and killed 17 people and injured 17 other people on Feb. 14.
Ross welcomed family and friends of the 465 students of the Edison High School Class of 2018.
The Edison High School band, led by Marc DeNicuolo, played as the students made their way to their seats. Senior Class Vice President Ingy Razouk led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Edison High School Singers, led by Kenneth Brown, sang the National Anthem.
Christopher delivered the salutatorian address and Jon Lee delivered the valedictorian address.
Jon told his fellow classmates that it is their own choice to make their lives as best it can be.
“Carpe diem, seize the day,” he said. “Freedom is a blessing, but it can be our worst enemy. It is important to forge our own realities and keep an open mind.”
Schools Superintendent Richard O’Malley and Board of Education members handed out diplomas to the students, who moved their tassels from right to left and threw their graduation caps up in the air as family and friends cheered.
Student Council President Vruti Patel and Senior Class President Rebecca Chelli made the closing remarks during the commencement.