NORTH BRUNSWICK – The North Brunswick Township High School Class of 2022 is the class that “brought us back from the pandemic.”
That is how Principal Michael Kneller put it as he spoke at the 48th annual high school graduation ceremony at CURE Insurance Arena, Trenton on June 17.
“You are the class that had the opportunity to complete a full year in a building as freshman before having your sophomore and junior year disrupted as a result of COVID-19,” he said. “And although there have been some bumps as we returned back to school this year, first with masks, then a brief time virtually, you are the first class able to come back and experience a sense of normalcy during your senior year again.
“You are able to enjoy normal events such as the senior barbecue, prom, awards night and now graduation.”
Close to 500 North Brunswick Township High School (NBTHS) students moved their tassels from left to right. Kneller was joined by Mayor Francis Womack, Schools Superintendent Janet Ciarrocca, Barry Duran Harris, president of the North Brunswick Township Board of Education and Student Speaker Emily Camlet.
Dhruv Shah, valedictorian, and Kushaan Jain, salutatorian, delivered their respective speeches.
Jain told his peers to make changes as they see fit as they embark and join the rest of the “hive” (world).
Shah said he has hope despite “living in a society that values profits over people, war over peace and guns over children.”
“I have hope that we will realize the power of collectivism rather than tribalism,” he said. “I have hope that our shared humanity will rise above. I have hope in us.”
Womack urged the Class of 2022 to remember the unity that has brought the class together as they embark in the next chapter of their lives.
“You are a class of uniters, united through friendships and your ideals, united through the adversity of a pandemic, united through the common goal not only of making yourselves better, but making your community better,” he said.
Womack said the Class of 2022 is entering a world “where some people are afraid of the very things that have united you as a class; a world where some teachers are being forbidden to teach science, to explore full meaning of the arts … a world where some people fear the very thing that is North Brunswick’s greatest asset, our deep diversity.”
“Please remember your unity, the way you have come together as men and women with different backgrounds and heritages, different preferences, different faiths, different interests and abilities,” he said. “In and of itself, it’s one of your highest achievements. Take that achievement wherever you go, be it work, the schools, the military, and help it become a reality for the rest of the world.”