The Bordentown Regional High School Class of 2019 was bid a fond farewell from both fellow seniors and school administrators during the commencement ceremony.
Gathered inside the high school’s performing arts center on June 19, more than 150 Bordentown senior students were garbed in gold and white gowns for their graduation.
High school principal Robert Walder opened the evening’s ceremony with an acknowledgement to the graduating students as well as honored Bordentown municipal and school district officials who were present at the event.
Following Walder’s introduction, the Class of 2019 salutatorian, Jaspreet Singh, took to the podium on the theater’s stage to address his classmates.
Touching on topics such as the drive and pursuit of happiness in his speech, Singh explained that academic achievement or social status would not ultimately define he and his fellow classmate’s time at Bordentown Regional High School. Rather, he revealed that moments he spent with friends and classmates helped shape his time at the school.
“As we graduate tonight, let us not take our eyes off the picture-perfect future we have drawn for ourselves,” Singh said. “Our lives are not going to be quick roads to paradise, and it is not my job to come up on this stage and lie to you, and make you believe that one day you will all see that. The things that we find essential to our life, the treasures that we must have as we get older, cannot be seen.”
At the conclusion of his speech, Singh urged his graduating classmates to simply be themselves.
“As we embark on our new journey, do not try to live your life to impress someone else,” he said. “Do not try to live your life being something you are not. Seek what brings you happiness.”
After Singh’s salutatory address, the BRHS Symphony Orchestra performed a rendition of “Into the Storm” by Robert Smith. The performance was conducted by Robert Vieira.
Following the musical performance, the Class of 2019 valedictorian, Matthew Kunkler, stepped on stage to speak to his classmates. Moments before Kunkler took the podium, Principal Walder noted that Kunkler achieved a milestone academic honor he maintained a four-year GPA of 114.37, the highest ever at BRHS.
Kunkler referred to a religious allegory in his speech to remind students to not forget where they came from and who helped them grow along the way throughout their academic careers, and to give credit where credit is due.
“It always important to remember where we came from and the people who got us here,” Kunkler said.
Bordentown Regional School District staff members then addressed the graduating class after Kunkler’s speech, which included acknowledgements from Superintendent of Schools Edward Forsthoffer and Bordentown Regional School Board of Education President Eileen Francisco-Cabus.
Forsthoffer’s message to the graduating class included words of encouragement to dream big try new things, be open to learning new ideas and to be kind to others as well as appreciative to those who have helped them achieve their successes.
Walder’s message to the class resonated with the students to be mindful of their academic and personal achievements as well.
“We remind you to meet your challenges head on, and to appreciate all that you have accomplished and all that lies ahead,” Walder said.
After the acknowledgments from the selected student speakers and school district members, the BRHS Choir Seniors and select underclass chorus members performed a rendition of “The Road Home” by composer Michael Dennis Browne, which was conducted by Ellen Kirk.
Shortly after the performance, the seniors received their long-awaited diplomas, turned their tassels and became official graduates of Bordentown Regional High School.