OCEANPORT, NJ – MAST school advisor Marcy Kay had her speech interrupted with applause and shouts of awe numerous times, and the Class of 2018 received a standing ovation at the Awards ceremony at Branches Sunday.

Kay, who has been a counselor at the vocational high school for ten years, cited statistics and records throughout the decade, pointing out how the Class of 2018 has achieved so much and excelled in every way from their variety of talents to their excellence in sports and academics.

Kay pointed out that in a class of 70 students who have excelled in numerous fields from athletics to music as well as enjoyed the benefit of world traveling, there are 35 seniors who participate in sports in their home school districts. Eighteen of them are captains of their teams.

Students play no fewer than seven different musical instruments, including the trumpet and tuba, and many others sing in choirs, and take dance or art classes.

Twenty members of the class have crewed for the school’s boat trips this year onboard the school’s 65-foot research vessel, the Blue Sea. Students have traveled throughout Europe with family or groups, as well as other travel throughout the United State and the Caribbean.

Kay noted that seven Boy Scouts among the seniors, a record number, have all achieved the Eagle rank, the highest award in Boy Scouting, and one of the female class members is a Girl Scout.

In addition to all of their out of school activity, the counselor pointed out the class has completed more than 3,000 hours of community service during their senior year.

Turning to scholastic records, Ms Kay said 657 applications were submitted for colleges, and the acceptance rate was close to 70 per cent, a similar achievement to every graduating class at MAST in the past ten years. More than $19 million over a four-year period has been awarded to members of the class in merit money from the colleges they are attending, the highest total of merit money awarded to any class in the past ten years.

Since MAST is a vocational school for science and technology, it was not surprising that 83% of the students have declared majors in the STEM fields of science, tech, engineering and math, with 20% studying engineering and three students studying nursing.

MAST is also a school were all students are members of the NJROTC, Kay continued, and there are two military Academy appointments and 16 ROTC scholarships offered to this year’s graduates, an all-time high. Currently there are 11 MAST graduates studying at the federal service academies and 10 enrolled in ROTC programs, and in the past two weeks, eight MAST grads have graduated from an academy or ROTC program and have been commissioned as officers in the US military.

The mean GPA for four years always averages over 90 per cent at MAST, and this year’s class continued the record with a mean GPA of 90.067 for the all honors classes. Students also scored the highest average SAT scores than any other class since 2009.

Six graduates, Sarah Gudelis, Janay Macdonald, AJ Poznanski, Matt Spak, Kees Van Hemmen and Tom Welch were among the 1.4 million students who took the PSAT exam, and among the 50,000 around the nation, or 3.5 per cent, who are selected for special recognition. Among the approximate 33,000 students who receive letters of Commendation as Outstanding Participants, or 2.5 per cent of all those taking the test, Sarah Gudelis, Janay Macdonald, AJ Poznanski, Matt Spak, Kees Van Hemmen and Tom Welch were cited for outstanding performance on the PSAT National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and the Letter of Commendation. Van Hemmen and Gudelis, together with Megan Scafaria and Cameo Mooney, also achieved greatness, Kay announced. Since she initiated the “800/36 Club” several years ago, “its members have achieved greatness. These four students each scored a perfect 800 on one part of their SAT test or a perfect 36 on one part of the ACT test. Gudelis, Scafaria and Van Hemmen achieved 36 in the ACTs, Scafaria, Mooney and Van Hemmen, 36 on the Reading ACTs.”

The American Association of University Women Northern Monmouth County Branch honors the highest-ranking female graduate in mathematics with a book award, as part of the Association’s advancement of equity for women and girls through advocacy, education and research. That award went to Miriam Badre.

“The MAST Graduating Class of 2018 is a truly impressive group of young men and women,” said MAST Principal Earl Moore. “Every one of them has accomplished something not many have done, but many more wish they could – they’ve spent the last four years as MASTies, and that’s something to be proud of… a distinction they’ll carry for the rest of their lives.” Moore said acceptances for the MAST Class of 2018 include some of the most highly competitive schools in the nation, including Cornell University, the United States Military Academy at West Point, Johns Hopkins University, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy.