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Martino students reflect on school year at graduation

Students of Martino Junior High School graduated and some received recognition for the awards they’ve earned at a May 31 commencement ceremony held at Lincoln-Way West High School.

One-by-one the graduating Class of 2017 took to their seats at the center of the gymnasium.

A number of students garnered praise for receiving departmental awards, as well as being honored with the Marie Szwast and John Oster awards.

National Junior Honors Society President Nicholas Tingley took a moment to revel in all the graduating class has done in their time at Martino Junior High School.

“As a class, we should be very proud of our accomplishments and achievements,” he said.

Tingley wanted to thank the many teachers and parents who helped shape the students into the scholars they are today.

“As we leave Martino, we’ll take with us our friendships and work ethic, while we learn to balance our academic and social lives,” he said.

Student Council President Kaitlyn Bittner shared that sentiment.

“Even though I feel like we walked through the doors at Martino yesterday—and I can’t believe we’re leaving already—we owe so much to Martino,” she said. “The teachers and staff, here, have taught us so many invaluable lessons, not only academics but life in general that will prove more than useful… We are more than prepared to take on the challenges of life in high school in the upcoming years.”

Pender said there’s no limit to what students may see or accomplish in the years to come.

“Who knows? One of you may create the next big technological advancement or discover a cure for some deadly disease,” said William Pender, board president of New Lenox School District 122 Board of Education. Your life has just begun, and as great of a night as tonight is, it’s just a blimp on the radar compared to some of the awesome moments you have ahead of you.”

With the future will not only come triumphs but trying times, Pender. The ability to wade through life’s struggles is equally as important, he said.

“These struggles will only become failure if you don’t try to make corrections,” Pender said.

Pender wanted the students to know how proud all of the parents, teachers, administrators and others in the crowd are.

“We wish you nothing but great things moving forward,” he said.