Tradition in an untraditional year: Montclair HS at amphitheater for commencement
(ADAM ANIK / FILE PHOTO)
Montclair High School graduates are set to cross the bridge over Toney’s Brook in the school’s amphitheater June 24 — continuing a commencement ceremony tradition in a year that was anything but traditional.
Seniors saw their final year in frequent flux, with the school district’s entire student body on remote-only learning for much of the year. Plans to return for a hybrid schedule were delayed amid continuing community spread of the coronavirus, concerns about the readiness of school facilities and a dispute between the district and the union that represents teachers and other staff.
Juniors and seniors returned for the hybrid schedule June 1, giving them just over three weeks before the end of school to see teachers and classmates in person.
It’s been a year of adaptation — and graduation was no exception. Montclair High School has three ceremonies planned, to accommodate graduates and parents (in previous years, the school has struggled to accommodate all families in a single ceremony due to the amphitheater’s size). A ceremony at 10 a.m. will be for those with the last names Abrahams through Giordano, at 1 p.m. will be for Gittens through O’Brien, and at 4 p.m. will be for Obade through Zimerma.
In 2020, the school split its commencement into three ceremonies, at Woodman Field, with the coronavirus pandemic just three months in and with state restrictions on large crowds in place.
In an announcement to the community June 11, schools Superintendent Jonathan Ponds celebrated the return to the amphitheater. Prior to that, the district planned to hold the MHS graduation ceremony at Woodman Field, where all other district graduations and moving-up ceremonies are being held this year.
“There are countless families who have seen generations walk across the bridge, and after a challenging year, I hope this brings joy to all,” Ponds wrote.
Throughout June, Montclair High School Project Graduation has continued to raise funds for the annual effort to provide students with a safe, alcohol- and drug-free place to celebrate all night long after commencement. The event is in its 32nd year.
“Hopefully you’ve even been a part of this iconic Montclair event and cheered the buses as they parade through town, exuberant graduates hanging out of the windows,” MHS Project Graduation wrote on its fundraising site, at mhsprojectgraduationinc.square.site.
The Class of 2020 saw its own Project Graduation celebration, deferred for a year because of the pandemic, finally take place Friday, June 18:
— Louis C. Hochman
The Class of 2021
The members of the graduating class are: Alexander Abrahams, Charles Abrahams, Taylor Abrams, London Abreu, Samiyah Abu Bakr, Gwyneth Adams, Lincoln Adams, Vanessa Adazie, Nicholas Adubato, Ava Agostinelli, Carlos Aguirre, Henry Aiello, Kairi Alexandre, Emily Amirata, Aliyah Andrews, Sophia Antoine, Emily Appelbaum, Chris Appouh, Alexander Arata, Issay Araya, Odaly's Arias Lopez, Chanel Armand, Jahlon Ashe-Sumlar, Robert Axelrod
Marcella Bakos, Mia Balsamo, Arden Bandler, Sahra Bano, Esme Barr, Isaac Barry, Safiatou Barry, Jackson Bartlett, Cate Bates, Isabel Beck, Emma Belsky, Tal Ben Ari, Elias Benchekroun, Alissa Bent, Max Berardelli, Diego Bermudez, Jadyn Berrian, Sierra Bivins, Madeleine Blackburn, Maxwell Blackburn, Charles Blanz, Samantha Bloomstein, Dominik Bondy, Margaret Borgen, Stefan Boskovic, Will Boyce, Margaret Braley, Thomas Breslin, Christina Brown, Jordan Brown, Jordan Brown, Sean Brown, Ya'Nae Brown, Harrison Brujis, Lana'y Brutus, George Buccino, Luke Budetti, Jack Burke, Raymond Burks, Imogen Burton, Andon Bury-Longino, Maximilian Byrnes
Niamh Cahill, Douglas Calabrese, Kate Callahan, Michael Callejas, Luca Campbell, Massimo Camuso, Gaea Caro, Tatiana Carranza, Savanna Cash Torkpo, Benjamin Ceccio, Eliska Cermak, Catherine Chaladoff, Amelia Chan, Georgia Chen, Arjun Chikkappa, Chloe Chowaniec, Amina Cirkiel, Diamond Clark, Hopper Clark, Lucayah Clement, Dhani Clifford, Herbert Coleman, Eli Colen, Nathan Collins, Shelby Collins, Kimani Cooper, Shani Coopsammy, Ethan Coplan, Oscar Counsell, Emily Crane, Liam Crawford, Nina Creimer Almeida, Alexander Crowell, Ely'zher Cruz, Ellison Cryder, Katherine Cummings, Maximilian Cytron
Rafael Dagnino, Daniyah Daniel, Jasmine Darden, Destiny David, Alfred Davis, Cheyenne Davis, Jeremiah Davis, Zoe Davisson, Elijah Dawson, Julia Dawson, Valentin de la Pena, Victor De Toustain, Abraham Deitz-Green, Joseph DeMichael, Sameer Deogun, Curtis DeSmith, Lucas Dia, Caroline Dial, Gabrielle Diaz, Jordan Diggs, April DiGiacomo, Malik Dingwall, Noah Dinnal, Jason Douglas, Seth Drescher, Jarrett Driever, Noah Duckett, Orla Duffy, Owen Duncan, Sydney Dunkel, Katrina Dutervil
Jude Eaves, Michael Ellis, Christine Emanuelli, Kaylani Escobar, Jaire Estelle, Josephine Estes, Charlie Estrada
Kasey Evans Farkas, Lance Feig, Danielle Feldberg, Eleanna Feldman, Jeremiah Ferguson, Ella Fine, William Finkel, Isabel Flicker, Percy Flores, Madeline Flynn, Benjamin Foley-Wilkins, Anahita Foroughi, Dayve Fortune, Richard Fowlin, Alexandre Fox, Jonathan Fox, Amar Francis, Anabelle Friedin, Genevieve Friend, Kate Fromfield, Tyler Fullerton
Angelina Gaeta, Skyler Galdieri Simonelli, Devin Gallione, Gavin Gammon, Joseph Gawler, Sewit Gebre-Egziabher, Nicolette Genovese, Nicholas Georgiou, Walsh Giarrusso, Kathleen Giordano, Kiara Giordano, Baldwin Gittens, Natalie Glasman, Anna Glorie, Lily Gnojewski, Alicia Godsil, Morgan Godsil, William Godsil, Diego Goldfrank, Moshe Goldsmith, Allana Granderson, Lawton Granger, Eavrie Grant, Miyan Gray, Anyeli Guerrero Arvelo, Alphonzo Guthrie, Felipe Gutierrez, Lance Gutin, Dylan Gutterman, Stella Guzik
Emma Hacker, Elizabeth Haefeli, Wiliam Halas, Abdul Hamilton, Nafia Hampton, Kirsty Hand, Karen Hankerson, Maeve Hannan, Raya Happonen, Justin Harris, Xavier Harris, Amaur Hayes, Lawton Haynes, George Held, Scarlett Held, Cai Hellman, Patrick Henegan, Isaiah Henley, Bailey Hennessy, Alij Henry, Jaden Henry, Eleanor Hickok, Claire Higgins-Hart, Denise Hindi, Erin Hines, Rukiya Holland-Thomas, Brooke Holley, Tahani Holman, Isabelle Holt, Adin Hultin, Zuri Hylton, Charles Hymowitz
Brett Janifer, Bryan Jarrett, Noah Jaskiewicz, Ellary Jenkins, Aasiyah Johnson, Caleb Johnson, Ke'maree Johnson, Lily Johnston, Gerald Jones, Isabella Joslyn, Lora Jushchenko
Ava Karanikolas, Kelley Karlok, Olivia Karny, Patrick Kavanagh, James Kaz, Drue Kendall, Samara Khan, Sophie King, Justin Kirkley, Victoria Knight, Tyler Krongard, Alexandra Kuhl, Devany Kurtti, Meliz Kurtulus
William Labartino, Lucy Laboz, Marcel Lacey, Samuel Lagasse, Ella Lammin, Nashya' Lane-Reese, Leonaldo Lapaix, Elliot Lasiter, Colette Lauture, Kyle Lauture, Thomas Lebiedzinski, Clare Ledgett, Jessie Legister, Beckett Lehman, Hannah Levine, Jeffery Levitt, Dasia Lewis, Giorgio Liberati, Giovanni Liberati, Juliues Liberati, Henry Lilienfeld, Maria Linietsky, Jacob Liona, Isaac Liu, Jackson Lloyd, Jalen Lloyd, William Lombardo, Layah Lopes, Cameron Lopez, Lucciana Lora, Jaheim Lowe, Andrew Lucking, Sehaye Luks
Lucy Maguire, Lucy Mann, Claire Manning, Sienna Martinez, Sophia Martino, Isabella Martling, Sydney Masur, Katherine Mathis, Luisangel Matos, Dexter Matthews, Ovaun Matthews, Maria May, Amara Mbalewe, Ella McAdams, Declan McCarty, Charlotte McClenahan, Margaret McClenahan, Lily McDonald, Mizell McEachin, Aidan McGrath, Sofia McKenzie, Christopher McLean, Jason McMillan, Dakota McPherson, Chloe Meacham, Nevan Medina, Anastasia Mellow, Clara Mendoza, Francesca Meyer, Elise Michaud, Kona Michaud, Elsa Mila Wilkotz, Dontae Miller, John Miller, Kate Miller, Kyro Mills, Roald Mitchell, Stasia Mitchell, James Modiano, Jackson Moed, Sydney Moed, Anna Moehrke, William Monroe, Conrad Moore, Madeleine Moore, Olivia Moore, Eden Moran, Jeremiah Moreno, Daniel Moroze, Kathryn Morrow, Mya Muchineuta, Devon Muldoon, Sean Murphy, Amira Mutakabbir, Assata Mutakabbir, Nzingha Mutakabbir
Philomena Nargiso, Christopher Nevins, Amelia Newmark, Andrew Noel, Olivia North-Crotty
Meghan O'Brien, Chelsea Obade, Ayoade Ojo, George Osterberg, Tahj Owen-White, Isaiah Padillo, Henry Painter, Jorge Paredes, Jahari Parrish, Noah Patnaude, Kara Peck, Deja Pelham, Olivia Pepe, Dale Percelay, Adin Petricoff, Alexander Petroff, Katerina Petroff, Ryan Phariss, Hugo Pierrel, David Pinheiro Rosa, James Piorkowski, Aqeel-Ibn Plant, Alice Portnov, Jonah Powell, Bianca Purkis
Miles Quarterman, Rafid Quayum, Elijah Quinones, Brooke Rader, Nicole Ramos-Gomes, Kaitlyn Randall, Claire Reath, Helena Reichenvater, Benjamin Rene, Gysbel Reyes Castro, Lysbel Reyes Castro, Gabriella Ribeiro, Zachary Rich, Zaki Ricketts, Algenis Rivera Jimenez, Jeremiah Rix, Hailey Robinson, Michael Robinson, Hannah Roche, Juan Pablo Romero, Benjamin Rose, Dominique Rose, Theodore Rosenberg, Minal Rosenblum, Violet Ross, Samantha Rossnick, Julia Rotman, Andrea Rourke, Lucy Rubin, Cameron Ruiz, Isis Russell, Ethan Ryder
Jeremy Sacks, Levi Saltzman, Aniya Sanders, Soleil Santora, Sophie Saraisky, Mary Sasona, Ava Scandalios, Madeline Schanen, Colin Scheffler, Rachel Schiff, Dylan Schulman, Ally Schwartzberg, Ben Schweiger, Christopher Schweighofer, Joseph Schwitter, Ruby Scott, Marlis Senecal, Benjamin Seraydarian, Anacia Sessoms, Savannah Sessoms, Carlos Sesto, Joshua Shapiro, Amirah Shepperson, Sarah Shiffman, Julian Shorter, Nia Siddeeq, Brian Silver, Brandon Simms, Phoenix Simpson, Matthew Skibniewski, Sophia Slater, Chloe Smith, Janiya Smith, Renae Smith, Sumner Smith, Chloe Smithen, Amelia Snyder, Lucy Solomon, Rebecca Sorkin, Krisantha Spencer, Kaylaha Spivey, Isabella Spoor, Dale Sprague, Chanel Spriggs, Jahred Spruill, Manu Srinivas, Lola St Jacques, Stephen Stamas, Amelia Steffe, Bayla Steinke, Savannah Stovall, Deven Sukhdeo, John Sullivan, Tatiana Switzer
Coumba Tall, Paige Tannenbaum, Carlos Tapia, Julia Taylor, Jonas Taylor-Lillquist, Antonello Terrana, Mikayla Terry, Milena Testa, Jameson Thatcher, Bryan Thevenin, Nicole Thompson, Avrianny Thorngren, Aleksandra Tkachenko-Gasteva, Nolan Tobin, Soren Tollis, Jared Topf, Sydney Topf, Deirdre Troeller, Zora Troupe, Olivia Truesdale, Amelia Tuchmann, Saeed Tucker Thomas, Rosario Tula
Anna Esterina Valerin, William Van Horn, Robert Van Wagner, Luis Vargas, Viltis Varnelis, Antonio Vecchione, Paige Villella
Eve Wacs, Michael Wakefield, Aidan Walker, Nya Walker, Janae Walker-Rabb, Donovan Walton, Nakiyah Warren, Kayla Weaver, Stephanie Webb, Nathan Weeden, Turhan Welch, Gabrielle Whitlock, Genesis Whitlock, Hamzah Williams, Lukas Williams, Makai Williams, Nicholas Williams, Olivia Williams, Truman Williams, Brendon Willis, Tilman Willms, Ted Wilson, Clare Winston, Skyy Woodroffe, Haseem Woods, Ciara Worrells Conn
Cassandra Youn, Ashley Yuan
Members of the class of 2021 are set to attend the following schools: American University, Bard College, Bates College, Bergen Community College, Berklee College of Music, Binghamton University, Brigham Young University, Boston College Queen's University, Boston University, Brandeis University, Carleton College, Carnegie Mellon University, Career Education, Clark Atlanta University, Cleveland State University, Colgate University, College of Charleston, The College of New Jersey College of William and Mary, Cornell University, CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College, Dartmouth College, Dickinson College, Drew University, Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg, Duke University, Eckerd College, Elon University, Emerson College, Essex County College, Fashion Institute of Technology, Florida State University, Fordham University, Franklin and Marshall College, Gannon University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Gettysburg College, Hampton University, Howard University, Hudson County Community College, Indiana University-Bloomington, Ithaca College, Kean University, Lafayette College, Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University Maryland, Loyola University New Orleans, Manhattan College, Marymount Manhattan College, McGill University, Middlebury College, Moravian College, Montclair State University, Mount Holyoke College, New Jersey Institute of Technology, The New School, New York University, Northeastern University, Northwestern University, Notre Dame University, Norwich University, Oberlin College, Occidental College, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus, Pratt Institute-Main, Princeton University, Psychology, Rhode Island School of Design, Rice University, Rider University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rowan University, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Rutgers University-Newark, Sarah Lawrence College, Savannah College of Art and Design, Seton Hall University, Siena College, Skidmore College, Southern University and A & M College, Stetson University, Stockton University, SUNY at Purchase College, Susquehanna University, Syracuse University, Temple University, Towson University, Trinity College, Trinity College Dublin, Tufts University, Tulane University of Louisiana, University College Dublin, University of Arizona, University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Los Angeles, University of California-Santa Barba, University of California-Santa Cruz, University of Chicago, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Delaware, University of Delaware, University of Florida, University of Maryland-College Park, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of Oxford, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus, University of San Diego, University of Southern California, University of Texas at Austin, University of Toronto, University of Vermont, University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States Military Academy, United States Naval Academy, Vassar College, Villanova University, Virginia Military Institute, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Wake Forest University, Washington University in St Louis, Wesleyan University, Western University, Williams College, William Paterson University of New Jersey, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
The list of colleges and universities graduates plan to attend has been updated to include some accidentally omitted from an earlier version of this post.