Linden High School celebrated its Class of 2018 on Friday, June 22, with its 108th Commencement Ceremony at Tiger Stadium at Cooper Field.

The keynote speaker was New Jersey Commissioner of Education Lamont Repollet. 

“I am so happy to be here today to celebrate your special accomplishment with you,” he said in his remarks to the students. “Please accept congratulations from Gov. Philip Murphy and the entire Department of Education.”

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He recognized standout programs at Linden High School, including the rigorous International Baccalaureate course of study, the accomplished Navy Junior ROTC program that comprises more than a quarter of the school’s students, the model English as a Second Language program, and science and technology initiatives.

He also singled our three outstanding students for praise: valedictorian and National Honor Society President Karolina Budkiewicz, salutatorian and class president Ayanna Brant, and NJROTC cadet commanding officer Je T’aime Thompson.

“With the dynamic, comprehensive education you have received here in Linden, you are ready to hit the ground running in whatever is next for you,” he told the graduates.

In return, the students awarded Dr. Repollet an honorary diploma, making him a member of the Class of 2018.

Vice Principal Lizzie Ortiz, who acted as graduation coordinator and emcee, recognized several members of the graduating class who have committed to serve in the military – asking them to stand – to great applause from the crowd of friends and family.

Eighty-three percent of graduates plan to continue their education at two- or four-year colleges, and another 9 percent plan to enter another form of post-secondary training.

The Class of 2018 also heard from Superintendent Danny A. Robertozzi, Principal Yelena Horre, Board of Education President Raymond J. Topoleski, and Linden Mayor Derek Armstead. The Linden High School Concert Choir sang the class song, “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”