Although the Ewing Public Schools will not hold in-person commencement exercises this year due to the ongoing pandemic, officials have announced an alternate plan for the students and their families.
The Family Commencement Experience will give the graduates the opportunity to wear a gown, walk across a decorated stage, have their name announced and receive a diploma while their families watch.
“We wanted to provide [the] experience in a way that is as safe as possible, complying with all social distancing regulations and recommendations, during this challenging time,” said superintendent Michael Nitti and EHS principal Edward Chmielin a joint statement.
Pictures from CFE will be featured in the Class of 2020 video graduation ceremony on the district’s communication portals June 18 at 7 p.m. For more information and to register for the CFE, go to ewing.k12.nj.us.
To read about this year’s EHS Top 10 academic seniors and their feelings about this year, see below.
College: Georgia Institute of Technology
Major: Mechanical engineering
Career plans: Mechanical engineer
Planned college activities: Honors program and some sort of robotics team.
EHS clubs and sports: Robotics, jazz band, marching band, Math League.
Person who inspires you: David Treder was in the Top 10 last year, and I’ve always envied his drive and sense of humor. I’ll always remember him for his audacity to argue with teachers he disagreed with in an attempt to seek the truth, and for his not-entirely-ironic cult-like fanaticism with the current principal. He truly is one-of-a-kind, and I hope he’s out there cleaning and/or filling the pools of millionaires.
What have you been doing, and how do you feel about the way COVID19 impacted you senior year? It’s been somewhat hectic studying for three AP tests, and it can be harder to stay motivated to study without the rigid structure of typical schooling, but I’m managing. I don’t think that our current virtual schooling can be a permanent replacement without a bit of revision, but I’m still learning well enough. I’d certainly prefer that COVID-19 were COVID-18 or COVID-20, as I’m missing my graduation, my final robotics season, and multiple large Boy Scout events, but it had to be someone’s senior year, so I’m not too mad.
Favorite High School memory: The robotics team has been a finalist at countless competitions, so it was particularly special when we actually won the FIRST Mid-Atlantic District Championship in my sophomore year. We went on to reach the semifinals of our subdivision at worlds.
Dasha Nicole Eisenhauer
College: The College of New Jersey School of Engineering
Majors: Mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering
Career plans: To form a unique global research and engineering foundation alongside my brother to foster awareness and protection from the misuse of technological advancements.
Planned college activities: Possibly, tennis, volleyball, swimming, something vocally and musically-creative, various science organizations, maybe an outdoor activity or social/travel club.
EHS clubs and sports: Tennis, golf, track, orchestra and band, jazz band, mastersingers, drama/theater and culinary club.
Person who inspires you: My entire family inspires me, from my Dad who is always researching and introducing me to new ideas, and my Mom for her drive, perseverance and encouragement, and for my brother, who I can look up to as someone who I know is very gifted and intelligent.
What have you been doing, and how do you feel about the way COVID19 impacted you senior year? To me, the entire situation is very disturbing, especially since we will not be getting a proper prom, or graduation, or the memories that come with the end of senior year. However, this situation has opened up a new perspective for me and has inspired me to become the best version of myself.
Favorite High School memory: Performing in the play Godspell during my freshman year, along with attending the school dances.
College: Indiana University
Major: Finance and accounting
Career plans: International banking.
Planned college activities: Join a sorority and some business related clubs.
EHS clubs and sports: Girls soccer
Person who inspires you: My mother. She’s great.
What have you been doing, and how do you feel about the way COVID19 impacted you senior year? It’s been pretty relaxing during the stay-at-home period, however it is unfortunate that all of the senior events have been cancelled.
Favorite High School memory: Playing sports for the school.
College: Drexel University
Career plans: Engineering
Planned college activities: A community service club, an engineering club, club/intramural softball.
EHS clubs and sports: Marching band, National Honor Society, Odyssey of the Mind, Rotary Interact Club, varsity softball.
Person who inspires you: My mom and my dad. Both of them have always encouraged me to be the best version of myself, and I hope that one day I can be this source of inspiration for someone else.
What have you been doing, and how do you feel about the way COVID19 impacted you senior year? Completing work at home has made me have to focus even harder on ignoring senioritis in order to finish out the school year strong. It’s extremely unfortunate for the class of 2020 that the pandemic has stolen away the end of our senior year, but I believe that if we can get through this, we can get through all other obstacles that may occur in our futures.
Favorite High School memory: Hitting my first varsity triple on senior night of my sophomore season. Going on trips to Disney, Grounds for Sculpture and Philly.
College: Princeton University
Major: Electrical engineering
Career plans: Computer hardware engineer
Planned college activities: Robotics, e-sports and anime.
EHS clubs and sports: Robotics club
Person who inspires you: No one really inspires me, because I feel like all I have done was mainly for myself. I do have to appreciate my family and friends who have pushed me to move forward in life and strive for a better future. Without them I probably wouldn’t be who I am today.
What have you been doing, and how do you feel about the way COVID19 impacted you senior year? I have a lot of time to work on some of my hobbies, but overall I miss being able to interact with my friends in and outside of school. It’s probably the worst timing for this to happen during my senior year, since I will miss out on graduation, prom and most likely seeing a couple of my friends that are attending a distant college.
Favorite High School memory: The pep rallies during our last three years. I just remember all of the hype our cohort had in order to attain spirit points.
College: Florida State University
Major: Communications/public relations
Career plans: Campaign management
Planned college activities: Student Government Association, Hispanic Student Union, American Marketing Association, and campus ministries.
EHS clubs and sports: Student council, National Honor Society, Rotary Club, Panther Pals and Peer Leadership.
Person who inspires you: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. American politics are an increasingly dangerous place for people of color and women, but her unrelenting tenacity and fearlessness continue to inspire me. She became the youngest woman to serve in Congress and has never let that stop her from speaking out against injustice.
What have you been doing, and how do you feel about the way COVID19 impacted you senior year? It’s not how we planned it, which is disappointing for us all, but God’s plans are always greater and more beautiful than our disappointments. This is a season of hardship for many, and it is such a shame to see our world suffering. My heart goes out to anyone who has been affected by the virus.
Favorite High School memory: Organizing our talent shows, pep rallies and school dances. There’s nothing more rewarding than watching our classmates enjoying the fruit of our hard work.
Isabel Van Wagner
College: Montclair State University
Career plans: Professional acting
Planned college activities: Joining the theatre department and maybe an a capella group.
EHS clubs and sports: Fall Cheerleading, Mastersingers, Student Council, Drama Club, Spring Musical, Ewing ITS Troupe 4883 and National Honor Society.
Person who inspires you: Mrs. Hall-Carney, who is the music teacher at Parkway Elementary School. I had the pleasure of working with her through senior experience this past school year and every day she welcomed me with the biggest smile on her face. I hope to have even the slightest bit of her wisdom and grace when I grow up.
What have you been doing, and how do you feel about the way COVID19 impacted you senior year? I have tried my best to stay occupied at home, whether it’s been through school work, keeping up with hobbies or trying some at home workouts. The fact that this occurred during my senior year has been quite difficult to wrap my head around. Prom and Graduation are moments in your life you never forget and to have those stripped away from me is a feeling unlike any other. While I would never wish this upon any other grade I can’t help but ask, why mine?
Favorite High School memory: Going on the Peer Leadership retreat last summer. In three short days we managed to pack in so much fun and heartfelt bonding that I will never forget.
College: Rutgers University
Career plans: Education and teaching
Planned college activities: Possibly the radio station, the newspaper, Rutger’s DSA chapter and community outreach volunteer work.
EHS clubs and sports: Key Club and Newspaper Club.
Person who inspires you: Everyone I meet inspires me in some way. I would not say that I have just one person that I look up to. Teachers who pushed me to learn more, dig deeper into any information I am given and to constantly do better. Musicians and artists who are not afraid to reach new creative heights. Brave individuals who stand for what they believe in and have no problem expressing themselves in any which way inspire me. Everyone and everything tweaks my perceptions of the world constantly, and I am endlessly grateful for it! However, I do really love Angela Davis…
What have you been doing, and how do you feel about the way COVID19 impacted you senior year? Because I graduated early, I was planning to work during these months, but that was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. My days are filled with lots of free time to further my knowledge on random topics, reading,writing and appreciating the privilege I have in this devastating time. Luckily, those I care about are safe and healthy, and I truly hope that those who are ill or affected by this financially receive the help and care they deserve.
Favorite High School memory: Having the ability to constantly rediscover myself and learn.
College: University of Richmond
Major: Business administration with a concentration in finance
Career plans: Chief financial officer
Planned college activities: Club or intramural swimming, community service organizations, student government, diversity/inclusion clubs, Women in Business.
EHS clubs and sports: Vice president of student council, varsity swimming, Rotary Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Math League and Princeton University Preparatory Program.
Person who inspires you: My parents are the most inspirational and influential people in my life. They left their lives behind in Mongolia and moved to America to give my sister and me the best possible opportunities life could offer. There is nothing I could say or do to express how grateful I am for everything they have sacrificed for us.
What have you been doing, and how do you feel about the way COVID19 impacted you senior year? It has felt unreal to think that prom and graduation, the two events that our high school careers have led up to, are cancelled. However, I’ve learned to be grateful and not take even the smallest of things for granted.
Favorite High School memory: Peer Leadership retreat was by far my favorite. Being away from Ewing and unable to use our phones brought us closer together than we had expected and the anticipation on the bus ride to the retreat was memorable. It was an unforgettable experience, and I’m glad I spent it with such great people.
College: Rowan University
Major: Electrical and computer engineering
Career plans: Engineering
Planned college activities: Rowan University IEEE, Society of Women Engineers.
EHS clubs and sports: Robotics, cross country, track,swimmng, Math League, Knitting Club, National Honors Society.
Person who inspires you: My mom, she shows that if you set your mind to something you can do it. I only hope to be half as successful as her.
What have you been doing, and how do you feel about the way COVID19 impacted you senior year? During the stay-at-home period I experience cabin fever like most, but I understand the need for these actions and appreciate the opportunity to check items on my personal to-do list. While it is upsetting to miss out on prom and a traditional graduation along with spring sports and activities that were supposed to take place if not for the coronavirus, it is a small price to play when trying to flatten the curve.
Favorite High School memory: On my 16th birthday, the Robotics Team won the Mid-Atlantic District Championship. Winning is not everything but it was the most rewarding memory of high school because of how much work our team put into the robot and strategy for the season.