WOODBRIDGE — Graduations for 446 students were held last week on the five campuses of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools.
Seventy-seven percent of the graduates of the three Middlesex County Vocational and Technical High Schools and two academies will be attending colleges or other post-secondary schools in the fall.
Valedictorian Vraj Shah, of Edison, addressed his fellow classmates at the Middlesex County Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge on June 27.
“Our dreams mean nothing unless we act on them,” he said. “Success is defined by achieving your dreams and by the positive impact you have on others … find your passions and pursue them to the fullest.”
Salutatorian Saifol-Islam Ahmed of Sayreville spoke about a quest for a higher purpose.
“As we prepare to take on this new segment of life, let us remember to free ourselves of material aims or methodical procedures in pursuit of a higher purpose,” he said. “And to infuse whatever passions we pursue with this higher purpose, so as to give meaning to our lives and efforts.”
Principal Michael W. Fanelli told the graduates that the commencement was just a beginning.
“I challenge you to make a difference, to make sure that you stand up for people who can’t stand up for themselves,” he said.
Middlesex County Freeholder Leslie Koppel addressed the graduates, most of whom plan to enter the health field after college.
“Your education has prepared you to help raise the quality of life for people everywhere,” she said, urging them to act with “compassion and understanding.”
Retiring Superintendent of Schools Brian J. Loughlin presided over his final graduation on the East Brunswick Campus. He is stepping down Aug. 31 after seven years as superintendent and 40 years with the district.
The East Brunswick Campus valedictorian was Jessica Marie Dell Beni, a theater major from Edison. The salutatorian was Heather Santiago, a digital film-making major from Carteret.
At the Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies in Edison, the valedictorian was Akshat Gokhale of Edison and the salutatorian was Rohan Agarwal of Edison.
The Perth Amboy Campus valedictorian was Anthony Ciko of Carteret and the salutatorian was Luis Torres Ramon of Perth Amboy.
The Piscataway Campus valedictorians were Lovedeep Kaur of Carteret and Damien Siri of Sayreville and the salutatorians were Karandeep Kaur of Carteret and Melany Roman of Perth Amboy.