Secaucus High School will bid farewell to its 134 graduating seniors at the school’s Performing Arts Center on Thursday, June 21 at 6:30 p.m.
Principal Dr. Robert Berckes (“Dr. Bob”) described the class as a very mature group who served as excellent role models for the school. He said that for the first time in the high school’s history, the school has gone 13 consecutive months without a fight in the building. He said the students brought anything that didn’t seem right to his and the vice principals’ attention before the matter escalated.
“This class takes the anti-bullying message very seriously,” he said.
At Thursday’s ceremony, students will hear speeches from two valedictorians, both with a 4.21 grade point average: Thomas Abramowitz and Sally Kim. Abramowitz is also president of the senior class.
Active high school years
Abramowitz, 18, has led a busy year as class president and president of Junior States of America, a group that encourages civic participation and leadership development.
“Eventful [and] hectic but a lot of fun,” said Abramowitz about his high school experience. “I was involved in a lot of different leadership activities. We did a lot of community service through the JSA, which was very rewarding.”
The JSA organized a book drive and contributed close to 600 books to a school in Morristown for the mentally and physically challenged.
“I’m ready to expand academically and personally in college.”– Sally Kim
Abramowitz was also on the Challenge Team that competed in an academic quiz bowl, the National Honor Society, and he is a member of Sources of Strength – a group that advocates for suicide prevention.
He plans to attend the University of Arizona Honors College to study math, which he said will prepare him with a foundation in statistics for a career as a sports agent.
Life lessons to carry on
Kim, 18, has also stayed active in high school as a member of the National Honor Society, co-captain of the Varsity Tennis team, and percussionist in the band. She also sings in the chorus, and also serves as the track team manager. Kim was accepted into the six-year pharmacy program at Rutgers University.
“You learn a lot of life lessons about who you want to become in the future,” said Kim about her high school experience. “Not to sweat the little things…to think ahead…to remember to take a breather and that things will always work out in the end given that you are working hard and you really care.”
Both valedictorians counted calculus teacher “Ms. Z,” Pavlina Zavorotnyaya, as an inspiration who has had a profound impact on their academic studies. Abramowitz also cited World History teacher and JSA advisor Michael Gehm, while Kim mentioned AP statistics teacher Janet Regensburg as an “amazing teacher” this past year.
“We’ve had some amazing teachers,” said Kim. “Your teachers do care and you can see it in the way they teach.”
Both students were happy that graduation is near after an intense year and both are looking forward to going to college.
“I am excited to meet new people and face new challenges,” said Kim. “I’m ready to expand academically and personally in college.”
“The goodbyes are going to be tough because I’m going across the country,” said Abramowitz.
Kim noted that “Secaucus will always be my home no matter what.”
“Secaucus High School is blessed by the student body they have and the excellent role models [in] the senior class,” said Berckes.
Adriana Rambay Fernández may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.