GALLERY: "Here At Southern We Have Received The Best"
Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin held the class of 2012's graduation ceremonies outside yesterday evening.
While the graduates waited in the 11-12 gym prior to the ceremony, the room was buzzing with pre-graduation jitters. When they traversed the halls for the last time, nostalgia was in the air. It was the last time these students would be walking down the ramps of the 11-12 building and out the door to where their futures beckoned.
Then, decked in traditional black and gold, the class of 2012 walked out onto the field for graduation beaming Wednesday evening, ignoring the sky above their heads overcast with moody clouds.
"Here at Southern we have received the best," said Denise Medenilla, class valedictorian. "Everything was right here, ours for the taking to make these years the best."
"Over the years we all made names for ourselves making Southern a stronger powerhouse," said Rachel Heussner, salutatorian. "Between the marching band, football team, cheer squad, volleyball team and track team, we’re known all over the state. Our hard work and dedication has been recognized as we hand off the baton, hoping the next generation will hold up our legacies."
Principal Eric Wilhelm spoke fondly of the graduating class.
"You seemed to care about what you did and for each other a
little more than the norm," Wilhelm told the graduates. "You always
worked harder than you were asked to. Your beliefs in what was right and just never seemed to waiver."
"You made being your principal truly easy," added Wilhelm.
Wilhelm left the class with one piece of advice -- to keep things simple as the graduates move forward into adulthood.
"We tend to complicate things when it is really quite simple," Wilhelm told them. "Find what makes you happy and who it is that makes you happy, and you are set!"
The graduation ceremony was 55th for Southern Regional, with 469 members of the class of 2012 saying goodbye to their school and to each other. The school provided no information on how many will go to college, but the colleges the graduates will attend include Rutgers University, Monmouth University, University of Chicago, the College of New Jersey, Stevens Institute of Technology and University of Delaware, among others.