January 28, 2023

Valley Regional High School Graduates 137 Seniors

DEEP RIVER— Valley Regional High School awarded diplomas to 137 seniors in the Class of 2010 under picture perfect skies Friday at the school’s 59th annual commencement ceremony.

A crowd of hundreds of family and friends gathered on the southeast side of the school grounds to watch the graduates from Chester, Deep River and Essex, along with the school faculty, march down the aisle to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance.” There was some of the best graduation weather in years, sunny skies and warm temperatures with low humidity.

Principal Ian Nevaiser welcomed the crowd by noting the 21 Region 4 school employees, both certified educators and non-certified staff, who are retiring this year. Nevaiser, who has served as principal at the high school for the past two years, is moving up to the position of assistant superintendent of schools for the district this summer. The high school will have a new principal in place when the 2010-2011 school year begins in early September.

Superintendent of Schools Ruth Levy, giving her second graduation remarks as the district’s top leader, urged the graduates to look beyond themselves “to think about what is next for us, for us as a people, for our environment, and for our world.” She called on the graduates to “leave your own footprint by doing something meaningful for you and someone else,” noting “there is so much to do and we need each and every one of you to help make our world a better place.”

Valedictorian Erin Elizabeth Thomas of Chester also called on her classmates to look to the greater good. Thomas recalled many of the changes and events since students in the class of 2010 were born in 1992, from the invention of the Internet, to the September 11 attacks and the current gulf oil spill. “Reflect on our past and our accomplishments- but there is more great work ahead,” she said, adding “in this class and in this audience I see the potential for each and every individual regardless of age or career path to change the world for the better.”

Salutatorian Chelsey Paholski of Essex noted the graduates had learned persistence and teamwork from their four years at Valley Regional High School. “Our school is unique in that it shows how three towns can coalesce to form one whole, one team,” she said. Paholski suggested the high school’s student body is a team that “works to give back to its community through service projects” such as blood drives, relay for life, and collections for community soup kitchens.