Friday, July 12, 2024

The North Warren Class of 2024 Is Off and Running

Watch out, world. North Warren Regional High School has loosed more than 100 graduates into the firmament.

Amy Tirado and Gabriella Walaszczyk sang the National Anthem. Photo by Joe Phalon.
Amy Tirado and Gabriella Walaszczyk sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Photo by Joe Phalon.

Under sunny skies on the grounds of pastural Ehrgood Memorial Field June 13, the Class of 2024 was released into cities and towns, large and small; to colleges, trade schools, the military, businesses and family farms.

Or, as class president Tanner Cook told the assembled classmates, families, friends, faculty and underclassmen, “We got this.”

North Warren has something for everybody

Graduating seniors Amy Tirado and Gabriella Walaszczyk opened the ceremonies with their rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Some graduates are pondering the future. Others are thinking about lunch. Photo by Joe Phalon.
Some graduates are pondering the future, others are thinking about lunch. Photo by Joe Phalon.

Richard Pilny, the Class of 2024 salutatorian, related his adventures on the marching band field.

“I recalled the hot and sweaty days not too dissimilar from today I spent with the marching band practicing tirelessly to perfect our music and marching technique,” Pilny said, practices that were punctuated occasionally by, as he put it, “Doing something pretty stupid.”

Though he did not go into great detail, he said those kinds of days only added to the memories.

Valedictorian Geoffrey Tillisch extolled the virtues of procrastination. Despite a staggering GPA, he explained how school assignments, personal tasks and even the speech he was reading at that moment, were usually put off until the last possible minute.

Valedictorian Geoffrey Tillisch. Photo by Joe Phalon.
Valedictorian Geoffrey Tillisch. Photo by Joe Phalon.

But he will be leaving a special legacy to North Warren, he said.

“I procrastinated so much over the past four years that even some of the English teachers have named a special rule after me,” Tillisch said. “The Geoffrey Tillisch Clause.”

It means, roughly, that as long as you are technically still “working” on an assignment even after it’s due, it will still be accepted. You hope.

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.