BOGOTA, N.J. -- Clad in white and green, 29 eight-graders were graduated from St. Joseph Academy in Bogota.
Loved ones and friends applauded the graduates in St. Joseph's Church on Friday.
Olivia Toutounjian gave the welcoming address, and Marianne Caoile delivered the opening prayer.
The three students with the highest grades -- Stephanie Doyle, Nicholas Munno and head of her class Elana Lane -- talked of how their apprehension entering school disappeared.
Principal James Newman presented the 2016 graduating class to Frt. Timothy Graff, who awarded the diplomas.
After awards and scholarships were distributed, the class assembled on the altar to sing a tribute to their parents for their love, support and assistance.
They then gave their parents yellow roses symbolizing the school -- but also celebrating the beginning of the next chapters of their lives.
In a special surprise, the graduates serenaded Newman, thanking him for eight years of being the only principal most of them ever knew and wishing him well on his impending retirement.
Steven Espinoza delivered the closing prayer.
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