Hillsborough High School Class of 2019 sets out on new path

Hillsborough High School Class of 2019 students look on to the podium as Principal Karen Bingert speaks to them during her commencement address on June 20 at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton. Photo by Thomas Wiedmann

Adorned in maroon gowns, the Hillsborough High School Class of 2019 gathered one final time for graduation this month.

As part of the school’s 48th annual commencement ceremony, more than 500 Hillsborough High School seniors congregated at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton on June 20 as they now prepare to take on the next steps in their education, careers and lives.

As the soon-to-be graduates entered the arena to a processional performance of “Pomp and Circumstance,” they filed into seated rows before a decorated stage for the ceremony to the cheers and applause of their family, friends and loved ones.

Salutatorian for the senior class, Shridhar Parthasarathy, kicked off the commencement with the message, “Today represents a victory for everybody,” he said.

As part of his speech, Parthasarathy requested his classmates to be mindful of their journey together throughout their years at the school, but to also be keen of what they have learned at the school and what they can continue to learn.

“Let us both remember the past and look forward to the future,” Parthasarathy said. “Let us remember everyone and everything that we have learned from, and still understand that there are so many whom we have yet to learn from.

“And as that future approaches, I think we all have to make ourselves one promise – that no matter what changes, the one constant will be our motivation to learn from the people, the ideas and the world around us,” he declared.

Following Parthasarathy’s salutatory speech, senior class president Connor Leoni took to the podium on the stage to address his classmates, school district staff and commencement attendees.

During his speech, Leoni announced the graduating class’ gift to the school, which would be a contribution to the beautification of the high school campus.

Leoni dedicated his speech toward paying reverence toward the class’ comradery such as their time spent together at school sporting events, social activities at the school such as “Tortellini Night” and dreading fitness day in gym class.

Although Leoni said that students of the graduating class will part on their separate paths following the evening’s commencement ceremony, he said he felt the seniors’ time spent together throughout their education would still link them beyond the halls of Hillsborough High School.

“The bonds that we formed as Hillsborough’s Class of 2019 will keep us connected forever,” Leoni said.

After Leoni’s address to the graduating class, the class valedictorian, Curtis Chen, stepped on stage to share his final thoughts and words of encouragement to his classmates.

Chen touched on in his speech that although the he and his classmates had worked hard during their educational careers under the mentorship of people such as parents, teachers and others, he urged that it was time for the seniors to become mentors themselves following graduation.

Soon after Chen’s address, Hillsborough High School Principal Karen A. Bingert addressed the students. Bingert dedicated her speech for the class toward the topic of growing.

“Think about it, tonight is not the culmination high school, but the culmination of the totality of your childhood,” Bingert said. “As anxious as you are to launch yourselves into adulthood, I invite you to take a few moments to remember your journey through your youth since those formative events have led you to become the young adults you are now.”

As Bingert concluded her speech, multiple students from the graduating class joined a group of the school’s upper and underclassmen for an acoustic performance of “I Lived” written by OneRepublic.

Following the performance, Hillsborough Township Superintendent of Schools Jorden Schiff and President of the Hillsborough School Board of Education Judith C. Haas addressed the seniors.

Diplomas were handed out soon after that signaled that the Hillsborough High School Class of 2019 had officially completed the commencement.

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