Over 150 graduates walk in Jersey Shore commencement

JERSEY SHORE — Welcoming everyone on what she termed a “beautiful and glorious morning,” Dr. Jill Wenrich, district superintendent, kicked off the Jersey Shore High School’s 66th commencement service early Saturday.

“Class of 2019, you have long anticipated this day, some with eagerness, some with uncertainty, some with a mix of emotions, but whatever you are feeling here today, you deserve and should hold a sense of pride, because you have made it,” she said.

She noted to three words that she felt typified the class of 2019–courage, conviction and compassion.

“This group of young adults has shown courage as they persevered and overcame obstacles before them. Conviction as they shared their thoughts, beliefs, views and opinions on what was right and just. And compassion for others as they worked diligently to understand and make sense of the world around them. It is because of these qualities they have made the world a better place for everyone both inside and outside of the classroom,” she said.

Valedictorian and senior class president, Cade Neal reminisced with his classmates about what was happening in the world during 2001, the year he was born, and into the class’ elementary years.

“Gas cost a dollar and 38 cents a gallon in elementary school. In kindergarten, Facebook was open to the public. Nintendo Wii came out, Steve Irwin passed away and Jim and Pam kissed for the first time,” he said.

He continued with what was popular during their time middle and high school, the fads and pop cultural markers, noting that “all of this has helped to make us who we are and influenced us in some way or another into the people we are today,”

“How much of this has really affected us here in Jersey Shore? We are a small, loving community that is neither in New Jersey or on the shoreline,” he said. “But our Jersey Shore is much more special than any amount of pop culture references that I could keep throwing at you all day long. Our Jersey Shore has conquered incredible odds, tragedies and losses and become even closer due to them over the course of our lifetime.”

He ended by stating, “Class of 2019, it looks like a great day to graduate, a great year to be a part of and a great life to be a Bulldog! Make it a great life or not, the choice is yours!”

Annalise Eiswerth, the class Salutatorian, referenced the classic rock song, “We Are the Champions” by Queen, in describing the class of 2019.

She spoke of the losses or “dues” the class has experienced over the past year.

“The dues we have had to pay this year through the events that have happened and the losses we have endured either together here at school or personally at home, have impacted us all. This year was not an easy one, most of us will admit, but still we came back, persisted and kept fighting to reach this point and that journey is what matters. That persistence and drive to keep going — that is what shows our strong character as a student, as a class and as a school. All of these experiences have helped form us into the people we are today,” she said.

“We are the champions, my friends, we’ll keep fighting ’til the end. We have left our mark on this school. We have made our families, community and school district proud despite challenges and setbacks and we have proven that it is always a great day to be a Bulldog. This song says we will keep fighting ’til the end, but this moment, graduation is only the beginning,” she added.

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