Masuk High School Class of 2011: The Class that Loved Math

Seniors get one final lesson as they prepare to move on from Masuk High School

Red and white caps and gowns were the center of attention in Masuk High School’s gymnasium on June 23, 2011 as 376 seniors graduated. Yet, school was still in session as technology and mathematics reigned supreme as a theme of each speech as student speakers remembered their attempt at a world record, and Superintendent Colleen Palmer gave a lesson in technology CSI.

Asher Cherian, who was elected to speak by his classmates, gave a speech about his time at Masuk emphasizing the impact the class made. Among these memories was the school’s attempt to set a world record by constructing the longest pi paper chain consisting of 75,000 links.  

Math continued to be a theme of the night as the four class valedictorians used arithmetic as comedy for their joint speech. The four young ladies decided to bid high school a farewell with kooky equations like: “A six hour shift times $8.25 an hour equals very sore feet.”

The theme of pi repeated itself as class president Natalie Ciancetta  announced that a statue of pi was going to be placed in the garden in honor of the class of 2011.

Following the students was Principal John Battista, who honored the class’s commitment to helping others with 24,000 cumulative hours of community service they logged.

“Every class has a personality. Sure the class is made up of individuals, but together they form a class personality,” said Battista, who went on to urge the students to continue helping others as they went on to other walks of life.

Battista also honored six teachers leaving Masuk to go on to retirement or new positions and Palmer and Assistant Supt. Richard Canfield, who will move on next year to become superintendents in other districts.

The final speech before the seniors got their diplomas was Superintendent Dr. Colleen Palmer who gave a chilling speech about the repercussions of technology.

“Think of the information that has been linked to your name,” said Palmer. She went on to discuss a senior of an untagged facebook photo put through facial recognition software. “As citizens of the 21st century you need to be vigilant about protecting your online identity,” she said.

After emphasizing the importance of filtering what is put online, Palmer then noted the skills that the students have developed in their four years of high school that they would find invaluable as the class moved onward.

Before the seniors got their diplomas, Dr. Palmer ended with a quote from Einstein, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Jane Goode June 24, 2011 at 10:14 AM
We were sitting in the chairs on the gym floor, right where the videographers were set up. Believe me, they were p.o.'d and almost came to blows (much swearing as well) because they could not get any of the proceedings since the speakers, BOE/Prinipal, and graduates were not on a raised platform. I couldn't get a single photo of my daughter graduating for this reason. There should have been some sort of raised platform so everyone could see. The names were also read at breakneck speed. And let's not even mention that bizarre anti-Facebook speech given by Mrs. Palmer.....
Sue_W June 24, 2011 at 11:56 AM
Congratulations to the Class of 2011!
barbara June 24, 2011 at 12:12 PM
Congrats to the class of 2011! I remember how upset my daughter was in 2009 when graduation was held in the auditorium, too. It's rare to be held indoors. It was hard to get pictures, but when my son graduated the year before and the ceremony was held outside, it was hard to get pictures there as well. I just couldn't get close enough. And I agree they have to go fast because of so many names. There should be some professional pictures for sale though, hopefully those who couldn't take their own pictures can buy them instead. I bought one or two for my daughter's indoor graduation.
barbara June 24, 2011 at 12:14 PM
Oops, I meant the gym, that's where it was held.
Donna Gail June 24, 2011 at 12:34 PM
I agree - whether the graduation is held inside or out, it's hard to get a good picture of your child receiving his or her diploma. Look at the professional ones offered - you can buy one or two without spending too much money. I'm sure it's frustrating but the administration has so many details to deal with, especially when the weather doesn't cooperate. The four years spent at Masuk mean alot more than one night's ceremony - at least in my opinion.
Bob Cloutier June 24, 2011 at 01:48 PM
It was a wonderful event, regardless of any shortcomings. Focus on the positives people. This class is made up of some very remarkable students. Be proud of our high school and the administrators and teachers who prepared these kids. Congratulations to the class of 2011 which has already left a positive mark on our town.
Jane Goode June 24, 2011 at 02:51 PM
So true! The graduates had a great time, I'm so happy for them all : ) I didn't know there was an option to buy professional photo's. That's good to know.
Jane Goode June 24, 2011 at 02:52 PM
You're absolutely right. I've so loved raising my kids in such a wonderful town.
Bob Cloutier June 24, 2011 at 03:05 PM
I need to recognize one administrator and one teacher in particular: Joe Kobza and Bonnie Waring. I don't think people realize how good they are at what they do. The things they do go far beyond any job description. The list of teachers certainlyc doesn't stop there, however, I was fortunate enough to work with both of them on a project this year and I can tell you without hesitating, they are top shelf. Most do not realize how much they do each day!!!!!!
Nancy Zorena June 24, 2011 at 03:28 PM
Congratulations to the class of 2011! Especially my students who went to Monroe Elementary School. WE are all proud of Nicole - 5.0 -way to go! Best wishes to you all!
Mario Miscione June 24, 2011 at 04:09 PM
I am hearing from some students and parents that they were not pleased by the Superintendent’s comments at graduation. Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the speech?
Bob Cloutier June 24, 2011 at 04:17 PM
Still trying to figure out the purpose of her talk. I was expecting her to elaborate on what Mr. Bautista had to say, which by the way was fantastic. Instead she chose to focus on the importance of social media and how it impacts this class. Not much relevence to the moment.
Jane Goode June 24, 2011 at 04:50 PM
Mario, her speech was very odd. Everyone I spoke to could not figure it out.
Kimberly J. June 24, 2011 at 04:56 PM
Too my !! It was a beautiful moment that no one could ruin, We got there extra early at 5:00, to see many had the same idea . We had asked our daughter where she was sitting ahead of time so we could plan where we should sit. We got many beautiful photos - unfortunately not one of her receiving her diploma. As far as the speach from Dr. Palmer I was very disappointed to hear the negative emphases on social media instead of a positive speach of how our children could acheive excellence in their next chapter in their young lives. She missed a beautiful oppertunity. I guess her speach showed she is already gone from monroe.
Denise C. June 24, 2011 at 05:19 PM
"I guess her speech showed she is already gone from Monroe" Was Dr. Palmer ever here? I don't think she ever liked our town and her negative speech was her way of saying what she thought of us. I agree she missed a great opportunity.
Alicia Craybas June 24, 2011 at 06:17 PM
There is a Graduation gallery and please feel free to ask for any photos of your children..I agree it was hard to hear, hot and speedy. I did try to capture as many kids as i could but it was tight and hard to see them. Congrats and best wishes to all.
Concernedparent June 25, 2011 at 01:40 AM
I had a child graduating and thought it was a wonderful ceremony and celebration. As for Dr. Palmer's speech, I thought it was much needed...our children, teens, and young adults need to wake up about the internet. Parents need a huge wake up call, too. There is no privacy and teens keep putting stupid stuff on their Twitter and Facebook. Jockey Hollow had two serious cyber bullying problems. There was nothing negative about her speech...social media is very current for these kids. There are huge problems with that. As these young people go off on their own, they are no longer subject to mom and dad's supervision. Many parents would be very surprised and alarmed if they knew what their child was posting on the internet. It needs to be said. But from reading these comments, it looks like maybe it fell on deaf ears?
Sue_W June 25, 2011 at 02:07 AM
While, yes, it is important for the kids to understand the seriousness of social networking sites and the negative impact it can have on their lives, graduation was NOT the place for this kind of address. I was incredibly disappointed with her speech and, quite frankly, can't wait for her to leave Monroe.
Cindy Cervini June 25, 2011 at 02:10 AM
I think it's unfortunate that Dr. Palmer spoke about what she did--@concerned parent, maybe it is an important topic, but not one to be brought up during a ceremony that is supposed to be about celebration. Definitely wrong time, wrong place, just ridiculous! Not pertinent whatsoever to the rest of the ceremony. That being said, my son also graduated with the class of 2011. Over the years I have grown to know many of the young adults in this class as well as their families. I can confidently say that this is a phenomenal class, many of the kids so mature, intelligent, hardworking and respectful! Monroe should be very proud of them!
bob heid June 25, 2011 at 12:58 PM
On the contrary, I believe it was the PERFECT time to convey this message. At what other time would you have the ear of both students and parents in the same arena to stress the dangers of what many still believe is a trivial reality. Shouldn't we all be concerned about terrorism and identity theft? I was recently informed a week ago about a seminar at Yale where they demonstrated facial recognition software and was shocked how far "they" have progressed. I thought her speech was sound advice to us all, not just the students. I don't know this woman but I have to give her credit for expressing her views on obviously a very controversial subject. Just my opinion. Congratulations to the Class of 2011!
Joby Murphy June 25, 2011 at 01:15 PM
I for one liked Dr. Palmer's speech. She is first and foremost an educator and I feel she was trying to educate us on an important topic. What our students will face after leaving Masuk is a relevant topic for a graduation speech. Plus after several speeches I was pleased that my graduate was actually listening to it and had his own opinions regarding the speech. Good luck Class of 2011!
Mitchell June 25, 2011 at 01:52 PM
No. Not your speech, you don't get "a copy".
Jane Goode June 25, 2011 at 03:10 PM
Graduation was NOT the place for this speech. It was awkward and weird. Graduation speeches almost always are about how the graduates will 'change the world', that sort of thing. They should be uplifting, and give all hope for the future. I feel her speech put a huge damper on the ceremony. All the graduates that I spoke to thought it was very odd, very out of place.
Jane Goode June 25, 2011 at 03:12 PM
Cindy, my daughter graduated as well with Honors. This is an awesome class, I have enjoyed knowing many of them. This graduating class exemplifies why we moved to Monroe many years ago. I knew the small town, good schools would pay off. And how it did! So proud of the students, so proud of our town!
Jane Goode June 25, 2011 at 03:15 PM
Bob, I agree that probably no other time would Dr.Palmer have the rapt attention of so many students and parents, but, this was wrong as far as content.
Concernedparent June 25, 2011 at 05:47 PM
I think social media/internet safety is a very pertinent and relevant topic to these graduates. For some of these students, internet safety isn't discussed at home. The internet is now a big part of these kids daily lives. Just my opinion. @Jane Goode: I don't want to make you uneasy but in 5 minutes I found out your real name, where you live, your daughters name, which is different from yours, all out there in cyber land. Creepy, right? I have been a victim of identity theft via the internet. It's a nightmare. I totally agree with Dr. Palmer's message to be careful what you put out there and teach your children the same...there is no privacy on the internet. It's that simple. ITA, that the class of 2011 will "Go Places" and accomplish great things. Furthermore, I think it is also a testament to the quality of our teachers and school system!
barbara June 25, 2011 at 06:18 PM
Concernedparent makes a good point about internet safety, that is why I don't use my real name on here. Perhaps there would have been a better time and place for that speech, though.
Sue_W June 25, 2011 at 11:53 PM
I'm sure if you call her office, you can request a copy.
bob heid June 26, 2011 at 01:50 AM
More advice. Parents/students beware of letters in the mail from Vector. It is a marketing scam. Throw it away. Google it for more info.
Alex Smith June 28, 2011 at 04:34 AM
As a student who graduated this year, I was very disappointed with Dr. Palmer's speech. The word "terrorism" should never be used at a graduation. While her message may have been a good one, it was super inappropriate for a graduation. I am not an idiot. I live in the 21st century, I pay attention to the news. Her somewhat paranoid remarks were insulting -- I'm 18 years old, I have a job, I know that they "googled" me before they hired me. I'm happy she's leaving. Hopefully, the next person to have her job will give a speech that doesn't cause such a fuss, and disappoint both the graduate and her parents (who waited years for the day to come).


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