Tom Gorman Parade Ground at MAST
Tom Gorman Parade Ground at MAST during the 2016 commencement

SANDY HOOK – Seventy students at MAST, the Marine Academy of Science and Technology, were graduated from the Monmouth County Vocational School District on June 23rd in ceremonies held on Pershing Field, Fort Hancock. Thirty-seven members of the class are members of the National Honor Society, and nine are also members of the Spanish Honor Society. Ruchir Bodicherla is a member of both societies as well as the Technical Student Association Honors Society. Eight students were awarded military academy appointments or ROTC scholarships, and of those eight, six were awarded more than one.

The MAST Color Guard presented colors for the graduation ceremony with class historian Molly Honecker leading the Pledge of Allegiance, and junior Olivia Reiber singing the National Anthem.

Colette Flatt, Board administrator for the school district, gave the welcoming address. Monmouth County Commissioner Lillian G. Burry, the liaison to the school district from the County Commissioners, was unable to be present for the first time because of a sudden emergency. Her congratulatory message to the 2021 messages was announced by Principal Earl Moore and distributed to area newspapers as a Letter to the Editor.

Senior Class President Elijah Van Ryck DeGroot addressed the graduating class and their guests, and Emily Godkin gave reflections of the class for their four years at MAST.  Mr. Peter Engelman, USNA Blue and Gold Officer, presented a letter of appointment to the United States Naval Academy to Elizabeth Lee, and Henry Schwartzstein, USMA Field Force Representative, presented an appointment to West Point to William Hurley. Petty Officer Paulo Silva presented Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) scholarships to Charlotte Basile (Rutgers), Patrick Fitzgerald (Notre Dame), and Collin Sussman (Penn State) and Sergeant First Class Amitram Mahadeo presented Army ROTC scholarships to Kylie McNamara (Colorado State) and Nicholas D’Armetta (NJIT).

Senior Class Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Rafferty led the class in changing the tassels on their mortarboards, and Senior Class Vice President Christine Giunco gave the final address.


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Muriel J Smith

Muriel J Smith has been a resident of the bayshore since 1955, barring the ten years she and her husband took to travel throughout the United States before coming back to what she believes is the best...