Valedictorian Bryan Tran will pursue an electrical engineering degree at The College of New Jersey. He will also compete as a Division III swimmer at the campus.
This year’s salutatorian is Dylan Vasquez, who will be moving with his family to California soon. He will major in biochemistry and minor in computer science at U.C. Berkeley.
Some graduates spoke about their time in high school and their upcoming plans, right after the ceremony.
“It’s like a whole weight off my shoulders,” Tran said. “…These past four years have been really difficult, a lot of ups and downs. There were so many times I was up at 3 a.m. and I wanted to quit, but I remembered that I have to keep on going.”
But he noted that he’ll miss the “welcoming, friendly environment” of Secaucus High. “I’ve never see a class so close with each other,” he said. “Every person says, ‘Hi’ to each other in the hallways.”
He added, “All the teachers are so incredibly supportive. I would not be able to have gotten this far without them.”
Other seniors echoed Tran’s comments about being ready to move on.
Max Celebrano said, “I’m more relieved than anything. I’m pretty happy.” He will study physical therapy at Seton Hall University.
He said Secaucus High has given him memories and relationships, including his friends and teachers.
“It’s like a whole weight off my shoulders.” – Bryan Tran
Toni Ann Cioce was feeling a little nervous about graduating, because she’s leaving her mom in a month to study psychology at Arizona State University. But becoming a child social worker is her career goal, because she says she loves helping people.
Already, she’s the president of the Secaucus Key Club, a volunteer group that helps others around town.
Cioce sees the past four years of her time at the school as a roller coaster, where she routinely transitioned among different groups and social circles.
“I feel like I grew as an adult,” Cioce said. “I feel like I’m not the same girl who walked through those doors freshman year.”
As parting advice, she implored her colleagues to not “do anything dumb.”
“I’m a little sad,” said Cathi, Cioce’s mother. “Happy for her, sad for me.”
Cathi gave her daughter one word for advice when out in Arizona: “Moderation.”
Emily Dumming, a former soccer and softball captain at the school, said, “It’s crazy. The next year is going to be something else.”
She plans to study elementary education and psychology at Stockton University in Galloway.
Hannington Dia can be reached at email@example.com