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Educators praise resilience of Jackson School District Class of 2022

JACKSON — School district officials celebrated the accomplishments of the Class of 2022 in the face of unprecedented challenges during graduation exercises for Jackson Memorial High School and Jackson Liberty High School on June 17.

“There is such great joy in sending our students off into what we know will be very bright futures,” Jackson School District Superintendent of Schools Nicole Pormilli said in a press release. “These students have overcome so much and have worked so hard to get where they are and we could not be more proud of them.”

The Jackson School District held dual graduation ceremonies for the 693 graduates of the Class of 2022: 415 graduates at Jackson Memorial High School and 278 graduates at Jackson Liberty High School. District-wide, the graduation rate for 2022 is 95.2%.

District administrators celebrated the students’ tenacity in the face of unprecedented challenges.

Jackson Memorial High School Principal Kevin DiEugenio praised the members of the Class of 2022 for moving beyond the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which began near the end of the 2019-20 school year and lasted through the 2020-21 academic year.

Some of the impacts of the pandemic were still being felt during the 2021-22 school year.

“I am so impressed with the accomplishments of the graduating class at Jackson Memorial,” DiEugenio said. “The Class of 2022 helped us recover from the hardships caused by the pandemic. The leadership of the class officers allowed our students to enjoy a nearly normal senior year. More activities were celebrated and this class started new traditions.”

Jackson Memorial Valedictorian Nicholas Tozzi noted the accomplishments of the Class of 2022 were attained “despite adversity and challenges.”

“This success and resilience proves we have the potential to make tremendous change in our futures,” he said. “Through an ocean of chaotic change, we have gained strength that has brought us together.”

Kate Bryant was the Class of 2022 salutatorian.

At the Jackson Liberty High School commencement the same day, Principal Geoffrey Brignola praised students for the positives they drew from challenging circumstances.

“What you have shown all of us is that you have become stronger, more compassionate, understanding, wiser and ready for the challenges that lie ahead,” Brignola said. “Your belief in yourselves will allow you to achieve any dream and I am confident there will be many dreams achieved in all of your futures, and I look forward to hearing about the happy, beautiful and successful lives you have created.”

Jackson Liberty Valedictorian Ashley Waldron urged classmates to view graduation
as a new chapter.

“This day marks a turning point in all of our lives. … It is now that we must take
more steps than ever before. And … I encourage each and every one of you to dream
big, believe in yourself, and never be afraid to take that next step,” Waldron said.

Charlotte Orton was the Class of 2022 salutatorian.

Pormilli thanked the Jackson Township High School Scholarship Fund Committee and the community members and donors who raised scholarship funds for the students.

“This committee and the very generous donors who contributed are responsible for
$121,875,” the superintendent said. “The generosity of our volunteers and of our community will have such an amazing impact on our students and we are all just so grateful to them for their support of our students.”

In addition, $11,500 was awarded in independent scholarships. Overall, according to the district, Jackson graduates were offered a total of $27.8 million in scholarships.

According to the district’s analysis of post-graduate plans, 42.7% (296 students) will attend four-year colleges and 21.2% (147 students) will attend two-year college programs; 1.3% (9 students) plan to pursue career education; 0.2% (1 student) is planning an apprenticeship; 1.7% (12 students) plan to serve in the military; 6.1% (42 students) plan to be employed; and 26.8% (186 students) are undecided about their future plans.

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