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MHS graduates 111 students

The John S. Clements Memorial Gymnasium was packed Saturday as the Middlesex High Class of 2009 listened to keynote speaker Delegate Harvey Morgan and others before receiving their diplomas. (Photo by Tom Hardin)

by Tom Chillemi

The 111 members of Middlesex High School Class of 2009 took a big step toward their future during Saturday’s graduation ceremony in the John S. Clements Memorial Gymnasium.

Featured speaker Delegate Harvey Morgan gave the class some time-tested advice. He told them to learn not just their job, but “know the whole picture. Then, when opportunity knocks, you will be prepared to seize it.”

Five to receive top awards

Five members of the MHS Class of 2009 were presented the top awards at graduation.

The Honor Awards went to Mark Hall and Melissa Baltrusaitis. This award is granted to a male and female student who have excellent personal integrity, academic excellence in a wide range of studies, have taken initiative in school matters, is committed to establishing goals and persevering, and has responsible personal behavior.

The Citizenship Awards went to Danielle Montgomery and Gregory Dorsey. It is given to a male and female graduating senior who had commendable conduct, excellent attendance, active participation in school and community affairs, scholarship consistent with their academic ability, respect and concern for the rights of others, and devotion to the school, community and the nation.

In addition John Hatton III received the award for service to school and community, and got a standing ovation from his classmates.

A person’s integrity is very important, said Del. Morgan. “When you agree to do a job, do it! Keep that agreement. Let your word be your bond.”

Del. Morgan said that most careers develop by chance, not by choice. “So, keep an open mind.”

Money is not the only reason to work, said Del. Morgan. “Enjoy the dignity, the honor, and the recognition. They are a big part of any job well done.”

Reputation is another important aspect of life, said Del. Morgan. “The kind of person that you are, or will become, is entirely up to you. How you conduct yourself will determine how you’re known.”

Determination is an attribute of those who succeed, said Del. Morgan. “Life is about choices and balancing priorities,” he said. “Don’t be deterred by setbacks. Adversity builds strength. Every successful person has overcome handicaps.

“Don’t be afraid to fail,” said Del. Morgan. “It is through mistakes and learning from experience that success is spawned.”

Del. Morgan said a diploma comes with a cost. “The price is the obligation and responsibility that you have to your community.

“My charge to you is that you put first in your life character, honesty and dependability, and tie those traits to determined optimism, and success will belong to you!”

Taking another step

Senior class president Amber Holland gave the welcoming address. “Every journey begins with a step. We stepped off our first school bus, we stepped into our first classroom, and we stepped through exams, our first dance and on ball fields and band fields,” she said. 

“Through every step there has been a parent, a teacher, or a friend in case we lose our balance,” Holland continued. “Now we take another step. We step out into life. 

“So my fellow classmates,” Holland concluded, “enjoy this moment, savor this time, and celebrate challenges you have encountered and overcome, and the experiences you gained along the way. Our journey is just beginning.”

The ability to grow
See more graduation photos from all three public schools in Middlesex County

Mark Hall, who was chosen by his classmates to give the student speech, compared school to Pokémon, a card game many of the graduates played in their younger days. “The main objective of Pokémon is pretty much the same objective of high school: to train hard in order to become a Poke Master.

“No matter what type of Pokémon you are, you have the skills to become successful. Now Pokémon are a lot like you and me. They laugh, and they have a limited resistance to oncoming attacks. Most importantly, they have the ability to grow, as we do,” said Hall. 

“We have made it through high school. Now we go off into the world to catch more knowledge through universities, military, and the work force. Class of 2009, it has been a pleasure learning with you and I wish you all the best of luck as we strive to be the very best.”

Thanks are due

MHS assistant principal Susan Leggett told the graduates their teachers deserve thanks. “They have been tough on you because they all wanted you to be successful when you graduate,” said Leggett. “It’s our job to help get you ready for the real world.”

Leggett quoted from a poem “Do Good Anyway” by an anonymous author.

“Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

“Be frank and honest anyway.

“The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

“Do good anyway.”

posted 06.17.2009

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