In her speech, Valedictorian Abigail Isaac sought to challenge the “vague appeal to the notion of dreaming and establishing a grandiose vision to continually pursue,” that dominates most commencement speeches.
She continued, “My question is when do we stop dreaming? When do we start acting? Personally, I say now. There is no distinctive age or condition when suddenly our opinions and our actions become substantial. There is a right time when everything just clicks. You can be 10 or 100, impoverished or wealthy, and through your actions, change the world.”
Isaac plans to study biology at Rutgers University.
Interim Superintendent Michael A. Wanko, who attended Bayonne High School in the 1960s, praised the school’s culture.
“Our students truly care about each other,” Wanko said. “They also have a desire to be the best that they can be and not just simply coast through life.” He continued, “Rest assured that the training you received at Bayonne High School has prepared you well and will allow you to pursue any goal that you desire.”
Bayonne High School experienced a shooting threat this year that rattled the community and compelled students to reflect on violence in modern society.
“We’ve had some scares. Every high school had it,” said BHS Principal Richard Baccarella. “We’ve had all sorts of tragedies that come along the way. And every time the administration gets together and says, ‘how are we going to do this?’ I say these students are going to do it right.” He praised the seniors for being good role models for the underclassmen.
“And from the bottom of my heart, class of 2018, I thank you. I will miss you,” he said. “I love you. Let’s graduate!”