Saturday, June 22, 2013

2013 Salutatorian Jessica Lind - Graduation Speech

Guest post by the Waldwick High School 2013 Salutatorian, Jessica Lind.   Jessica will be attending University of Connecticut in the fall.  She will be majoring in Biology, on a pre-med Track. 

Welcome. I would first like to take this moment to give a special thanks to Dr. Raupers, members of the board of education, Mr. Carroll, Mr. Clancy, honored guests, parents, family, and friends for being here on this special occasion. On behalf of the class of 2013 I would like to thank you for everything that you have done for us over the past four years. I would also like to thank my family, especially my parents, who have raised me to be the person that I am today and who have been by my side throughout this entire journey.
         For as long as  I can remember, my mom and I have bonded over the television show Gilmore Girls and one of our favorite episodes is when the main character, Rory graduates high school and has to give a speech. My mom and I have always joked around saying that if I ever had to give a speech at graduation all I needed to do was copy exactly what Rory said and I’d be done, not thinking that one day it would actually happen. But it has, and obviously I had to write a speech of my own. I wanted it to be personal but also relatable. So I started thinking about everything that I’ve been through this past year, and the first thing that popped into my head was the experience I had applying to college and this is what I came up with…
         Until now, the end of the school year has always evoked the same emotions. Excitement for the summer plans ahead, relief that there would be no more school work to do for a while and a hidden sense of comfort in the fact that in a few short months we would be back in the same classrooms with the same teachers and classmates that have become so familiar to us. But this year it was different. For many of us, this day couldn’t have come any sooner. We have been counting down the days until graduation and waiting for this moment since we entered high school as freshmen and for some even before then. But now that this day has actually arrived, the feelings are bittersweet. We know that it’s time to go and we’re all anxious to start the next phase of our lives. But it’s hard because it means saying goodbye to a school that has given us so much over the past years between friends who have supported us, teachers who have become our mentors and many other influential people who have helped guide our way. There have been many bumps along the way, but I believe that Waldwick High School has prepared us well and every single person here today has a bright future ahead of them whatever that may be.
         For me, college is the next step. For many people, the hardest and most stressful part of senior year is applying for college, and for me this was no exception. I had been thinking about college and envisioning where I could see myself going for many years prior. So when the time came to narrow down my choices to just a few, I found myself choosing a lot of schools with big names but very low admission rates and sure enough, when April swung around and decisions were released, the results were not quite what I expected. At first, I was upset, feeling that somehow I had failed. But as time went by I started to learn a lot from this experience.
         In life there are going to be many bumps along the way; there are going to be setbacks and disappointments and we are all going to fail at times. But that’s just a part of life and every failure is really just a blessing in disguise with an even bigger lesson to be learned from it. When people are afraid to fail, it holds them back from trying. Life is an open book and you never know what is going to happen next and you never will unless you make an attempt. I realized that it doesn’t matter where you go in life, what matters is what you do when you get there. It’s the choices that we make and the opportunities that we take advantage of that will dictate our futures. So I say reach for the stars. Even if something seems completely out of reach go for it anyway because you never know what could happen.
          Initially, when I received my admission decisions from some of my top schools, I felt like giving up because everything that I had done to that point seemed worthless. But I realized that if I gave up then, I would be giving up a part of myself. I like to aim high and I plan on continuing to aim high in the future and I encourage everyone to do the same. If you really want to do something, just do it even if the risk of failing far outweighs the chances of success. Life is about making mistakes and now is the time to make them.
         I thought that not getting into my top schools was the worst thing ever, but it wasn’t. If I had gotten into those schools I may have chosen to go to one of them just for the sake of its name and prestige and not for any other reason. If I had done so I would have been making a huge mistake. For the longest time, I thought I knew exactly where I needed to be after high school and the type of school I needed to go to. But then my plans suddenly changed and the only options that were left for me didn’t seem good enough.  However, when I got the opportunity to go and visit the schools I did get into, I was pleasantly surprised and there was one school in particular that when I stepped onto campus it just felt right. It’s funny because life has a way of giving you what you need and what you want even if you don’t realize it at first. So if your plans fall short of what you expected, don’t be discouraged because it could mean that there is something better out there waiting for you.
         These past four years have flown by and I know it’s time to go but I will never forget my years here at Waldwick High School. We have always said that one of the greatest advantages to having a small school is that everyone knows one another and even though we’ve had our ups and downs, at the end of the day we are always there for each other and we rally together when it matters most. I am so grateful to have been a part of this school and I wish everyone the best of luck in the future. Congratulations Class of 2013. Thank you.

2013 Valedictorian Mayumi Skorski - Graduation Speech

Guest post by the Waldwick High School 2013 ValedictorianMayumi Skorski.   Mayumi will be attending Duke University in the fall.  She will be majoring in International Business.

Good evening Dr Raupers, members of the board of education, Mr. Carroll, Mr.Clancy, faculty, family and friends.  As in any speech I would like to start off with a few thank yous.  Thank you grandpa, grandpa, and grandpa only because he told me he would give me $100 each time I mention his name.  That’s  $300 right there and I haven’t even really started yet. 
In talking to my mom about the end of high school, she told me how in Japan each class plants a tree for their graduation.   They are able to come back to the tree years later and think nostalgically about their times in school, the memories they shared together and how they have grown, together and as individuals.  That made me think about our time in Waldwick in terms of a tree. 
Like roots on a tree, when we first came to the elementary schools we were all separated.  Some started here in Waldwick in 2001 as we entered Kindergarten at Crescent or Traphagen and others came from different towns, but all from separate paths.  Here we made our first best friend as we played tag, house, and rocketship.  This is where the strong foundation, the roots, were laid for each of us.
         As we moved onto middle and high school we became the trunk of the tree, united as one, bonded together.  Middle school may have been rough with braces, awkward pictures and mismatching outfits, but we made it through to high school.
         In high school we became even closer with the special bond we created. When you walk down our hallways there’s an atmosphere you can’t find at many other schools, and it’s not just that you can never find an open bathroom.   I constantly find myself waving and trying to throw fives at everyone I see.  That special bond, as unbreakable as a tree trunk, will keep us connected as we move on away from our trunk and branch out into the world.
          As each tree has its own unique characteristics, our class is no different.
One thing that I’ll certainly miss about our class is the sense of humor.  You’re not going to be able find another school that thinks the same way we do.  No one else calls each other by their mom’s first names.  No one else points out voice cracks or calls people soft and crepes.  We have the Waldwick connection, that special Waldwick humor. 
         Then there’s Warrior Nation.  We helped to start it and make it what it is today.  Warrior Nation will not be the same without having the voice of Jessey Michaels leading us in chants at every game.  Throughout these past four years the Class of 2013 has certainly left our mark in ways that other classes only dreamed about.  We brought home state sectional titles in all sports including boys’ soccer, girls’ soccer, baseball, and even basketball.  Not to mention our most important victory --winning powder puff two years in a row of course.  Not just winning but shutting out the other team.  Our hard work has certainly paid off in ways that will forever be ingrained in Waldwick high school history.   
         Not only have we left an impact on Waldwick High school history, but also in Mr. Carroll’s heart.  Whether it’s Andrew Livanos on Wake Up Waldwick, getting phone calls at midnight, or trying to throw playpen balls in the hallway, we’ve always seemed to keep Mr. Carroll “on the hop”.  So thanks Mr.Carroll for allowing us all to still walk in graduation even though there were times you wish you didn’t.  And don’t worry, in the future we will make Waldwick proud and #makeithappen.
Just as we experienced some great memories throughout our high school career, we’ve also had our share of hardships.  Throughout high school our tree has faced many storms and has lost some of its branches.  Jenny Collentine, Sean Fisher, and Kaitlin Joyce live on in our memories and our hearts as we honor them today at our graduation.  We will never forget the memories, the laughs, the tears, and the smiles that we have shared with each one of them. 
As we move onto college, we bring our mini fridges, our oversized tvs, and of course, our memories.  It all started freshman year where we had ridiculous projects like the 20 page religion paper and we can’t forget the tackling of Santa, also known as Mike Sciortino.  Sophomore year brought the beginnings of Warrior Nation and the Waldwick CSA garden.  Junior year came around and we had our first prom and then senior year we became even closer through times at Seaside, the fashion show, and the talent show.  Not only have we bonded with each other, but also with our teachers.  I’ll miss being in a French class with only six people and imitating Madame’s mannerisms.  I’ll miss Mrs. Wolf’s fascinating stories and learning the meat and potatoes.  I’ll miss hearing about the incredibly close class votes with Mr. Noschese.  As much as I will miss all of these things, I’ll never forget. 
I’d like to thank all of you who sit here today for making my high school experiences the best of my life.  I feel so blessed that I have gotten to know each and everyone of you.  “True friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget”. 
We’ve grown together as one like a trunk of a tree but as we reach the end we become the branches.  All of the branches go in their own direction.  Each has it’s own path, but they all touch the sky and reach for the stars.  Some of us are eager others a little anxious, but as my grandpa told me “Skorski’s don’t get nervous, they get excited.”  Don’t be nervous about the future, but be excited.  And remember as we leave here we all serve as the face of Waldwick High School and you know it’s not that easy, just ask our very own athlete of the week Zack Neugebauer.  We leave here proud representing Waldwick not just as another group of alumni, but as people who will leave a mark on our world.  We go out into the world with our ambitious and determined mindset where they aren’t any limits as we head in one direction: towards success.  No matter where you may end up never forget your roots here in Waldwick; stay grounded to your foundation like the roots of a tree.       
And, as we look back to our roots and look forward towards the stars, let’s also remember to live now.  Let’s enjoy the last moments and memories we have together.  Let’s end our senior year the way we end our weekends: by living the dream.  Thank you class of 2013 for being the most memorable and wonderful class anyone could ask for.  I’ll miss everyone one of you, but I’ll never forget.
And one more thing, thanks grandpa that's $500 for me! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Student Council Officers

Congratulations to our newly elected Student Council Officers for the 2013 - 2014 school year.   

Nicole Fundaro - President
Armando Gonzalez - Vice President
Adam Badalamenti - Treasurer
Ali Reynolds - Secretary

Ms. Ruch and I are looking forward to next year and excited to have the four of you leading our Student Council.  #makeithappen

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Nick Bradly advances to State Tennis Final

Nick Bradly moves on to the finals of NJSIAA Tennis State Singles Final.

Image via
Two great articles on Nick are posted below:

May Students of the Month

Congratulations to the 
May Students of the Month

ELLIE DeIANNI - Ellie has done outstanding work this year in her A.P. Psychology and U.S. History 2H classes.  She strives to improve her studies in these challenging and demanding classes.  Ellie has a good sense of commitment in all her classes.  She is not a quitter and does not get discouraged with minor setbacks. Ellie is a team player and is goal-oriented.

COLIN SHERMAN – Colin ran as hard as he could so that the boy’s team could qualify for the 4 x 800 relay at the State Group Championships.  This is a brand new event and Colin’s efforts helped us create some new school history.  Mostly a quiet leader on the team, Colin lead through his actions by sacrificing for his teammates and helping the team improve to 9:05 from 9:21. If the team advances to the State Meet of Champions, it will be because of Colin's hard work and dedication.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

PSA Videos

Students from Mr. Meltzer's TV Production classes created awareness on a few important issues by producing "Public Service Announcements".   You can watch the videos here or checkout them out on the Waldwick High School Youtube Channel (Warrior Broadcast Center).
Link to: Warrior Broadcast Center

High School Dropout PSA

Hearing loss PSA

Heart Screening PSA

Drug Awareness PSA


Sunday, June 2, 2013

AP Art Work - Sophie LaBell

I am very proud to present  a few amazing art pieces from Sophie LaBell's AP Art portfolio.  

AP Art Work - Robyn Wiley

I am very proud to present a few amazing art pieces from Robyn Wiley's AP Art portfolio.  

AP Art Work - Meredith Levine

I am very proud to present a few amazing art pieces from Meredith Levine's AP Art portfolio.  

AP Art Work - Meg Hahn

I am very proud to present a few amazing art pieces from Meg Hahn's AP Art portfolio.  

AP Art Work - Dawn Cutrofello

I am very proud to present a few amazing art pieces from Dawn Cutrofello's AP Art portfolio.