RUNNEMEDE—An enthusiastic capacity crowd gathered at Triton Regional High School Thursday night to celebrate the school's Class of 2012.
Family, friends, and school staff assembled under picturesque blue skies for the school’s 54th commencement ceremony to send 360 Triton graduates onto the next step of their lives.
Black Horse Pike Regional School District board member Joseph Baldino delivered the night’s first speech, offering congratulations and some words of guidance to the graduating Mustangs.
Baldino, whose son Jeff was a graduating member of the class, advised students to "create a plan," and to "always keep a goal in mind and use today to remember that you can succeed."
Co-valedictorians Alex Hobbs and Alec David, along with class salutatorian Brooke Logan, each delivered poignant messages to the lively crowd.
David spoke of how he drew his inspiration from a graduation speech designed for 5-year-olds.
He reminisced about past successes and referred to past experiences to deliver a confident message about the future.
"If you think about it, your life is changed every few years. And remember as you move forward that you have handled so far each of the various challenges to this point," he said.
Hobbs, meanwhile, talked of the many memorable moments he and his classmates shared during their time at Triton. He referred to the class’ senior trip, jokingly alluded to principal Cathy DePaul's affinity for the adjective "bangin," which she often uses when enthusiastically addressing students. He also thanked the different teachers and friends that made the high-school experience remarkable.
Logan, meanwhile, delivered a heartfelt address to her fellow classmates about how she has drawn inspiration from her grandmother who suffered a brain aneurism a few years ago and her subsequent refusal to succumb to the difficulties presented before her.
She said of her grandmother, who was in attendance for the ceremony, "She is a true soldier," and urged her fellow classmates to follow her lead in not allowing obstacles to stand in the way of success.
The remarks were fitting given the various hardships and personal hurdles that each student faced in earning their high school diplomas.
Prior to distributing diplomas, DePaul spoke of the class' diverse talents and successes, referencing the $6,029,021 awarded in total grants, scholarships, and other various honors to the Class of 2012.
BHPRSD director of curriculum and instruction Brian Repici advised the graduates to make a commitment to service and helping others while urging each student "to give back to the places and people that have given you so much." He then certified the student body as official high school graduates.
After the class tossed their caps into the air in celebration, Class of 2012 president Rebecca Pumphrey perfectly explained the experience on behalf of her classmates.
“It’s definitely a good feeling. I loved my time here and it was an honor to be class president,” she said. “I’m sad to leave Triton, but at the same time, it’s really exciting right now.”
Click here for a complete list of Triton Regional High School's Class of 2012 graduates.
Editor's Note: Please feel free to add congratulatory messages to Triton graduates in the comments section below, and to upload your photos and/or videos from Graduation Night.