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449 graduate from MCVTS

449 graduate from Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools

Graduation ceremonies were held June 23 on the five campuses of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools, sending 449 seniors off to college, advanced career training, the armed forces or the world of work.

“You should be excited and you should have hope for what’s going to greet you in the future,” said Brian Bilal, principal of the School of Career Development, at the Piscataway Campus graduation.

Calling Muhammad Ali his idol, Bilal quoted the late boxing champion: “Service to others is the rent you pay to have a room on this Earth.”

“It is fitting tonight that we honor the road you have traveled,” said Joseph Armstead, principal of Piscataway Vo-Tech.

The two principals were joined by Middlesex County Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, who called the county vocational schools “the shining jewel in our crown.”

“Now you embark on your true mission,” Armwood told the graduates. “How do you change this world into what you want it to be?”

“Our four years here seem to have passed in the blink of an eye,” said valedictorian Violeta Jaya-Yaguana of Carteret, a computer-assisted drafting major.

“Surround yourself with people who will bring out the best in you,” she advised.

Also addressing the 131 Piscataway graduates was salutatorian Abdullah Taher of Carteret, a health technologies major, who urged his fellow graduates to be thankful for their families and others “who made sacrifices for us.”

Sixty-six students graduated from the Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge, where the valedictorian was Ruchit Patel of Piscataway. The Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies in Edison had 42 graduates, including valedictorian Shree Nadkarni of Edison. The 149 graduates on the East Brunswick Campus were addressed by valedictorian Klaudia Radon of South Amboy. Sixty-one graduates on the Perth Amboy Campus were led by valedictorian Heidy Siguenza of Perth Amboy.

The Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District is the first full-time county vocational school district in the nation. The Perth Amboy Campus, the Edison Academy and the Woodbridge Academy have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools. The East Brunswick Campus has been designated a National Green Ribbon School in recognition of its “green” curriculum and sustainable building management practices. The district celebrated its centennial in 2014.

More information on the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools is available at