EDISON – In her last time presiding over the John P. Stevens High School graduation before her new supervisory role in the district, Principal Gail Pawlikowski told the Class of 2019 “you are the warriors” and for the world to look out for the talented class, who have contributed so much during their time at the high school.
Some 577 graduates moved their tassels from right to left after they received their diploma during the 55th annual commencement ceremony in front of many cheering family and friends at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway on June 21.
The J.P. Stevens High School Wind Ensemble, led by Andrew DeNicola and John Zazzali, played as the students made their way to their seats. Student Council President Brian Dan-Ding led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance and Shruti Venkat sang “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Lekhya Kollu delivered the salutatorian address titled “Hey Google, How do I Write a Salutatorian Speech?” and Brian Jiang delivered the valedictorian address titled “Heavy is the Head.”
Kollu told his peers their high school graduation is not an end, but a beginning, and to take risks and ignore what Google may say at times.
Jiang said through trial and perseverance, they got to where they are and the best is yet to come.
Schools Superintendent Paul J. Saxton and Board of Education members handed out diplomas to the students.
Senior Class President Oluwadamola Olugboji reflected on class memories to close the commencement.
Next school year, Pawlikowski will begin her new role as chief academic officer for the Edison Public School District, which was discussed at a Board of Education meeting on May 21.
When asked why she would leave her position as principal of one of the best high schools in the state, Board President Jerry Shi said Pawlikowski said the Edison Public School District is at a crossroads and she wants to make the district even better.