MARGATE - The 59 students who make up the 2013 graduating class at Charter Tech High School for the Performing Arts in Somers Point all developed their own individual talents during their time at the school.

And after Friday's graduation they must apply those skills for the future.

The small class, dressed in blue, fit comfortably on the small stage in the old school on Amherst Avenue in Margate where they had their graduation ceremony, which celebrated their accomplishments and diverse activities.

Principal Arthur Tubbs told the class they had all developed their individual talents and strengthened their character and independence, which will help them succeed in the future.

The class had two valedictorians who spoke at the ceremony.

"I have never met a more interesting, unique, diverse group of people," said Mays Landing resident Lindsey Evans. "And it was that factor alone that made me nervous, but excited, to come here. It's very difficult to leave your sending district to come to a place where you don't have an established group of friends or teachers, you're afraid you won't be good enough at your major, and you're so desperate to be accepted. Add that to the fact that you're at the immature age of fourteen, and starting high school for the first time. It's a scary situation. But we did it - we all did it."

It was at the school that, Evans said, for the first time, she was encouraged to do her best and to be the best person she could be - whether as a student, musician or a teenager.

"And I am certain that all of you felt the same way here," she said. "This school gave me the tools, the knowledge and the people I needed to get through whatever obstacle was thrown at me. The best feeling in the world is to know that there are people standing behind you, supporting you, willing to help you whenever you need it; and I felt that feeling every single day here."

Brigantine resident Julia Marrone said she felt comfortable moving on to the next step in her life because of her high school experience and the many different types of classes and teachers she encountered.

"The unconventional nature that this school has exposed us to is just what we need to succeed in life," she said. "While moving forward in our lives, we will be faced with new challenges. If I could only say one piece of advice to my fellow graduates, it would be to go with your gut feeling. These next few years of our lives will be the some of the hardest, but they will also be the time to be as carefree as you need to learn about who you really are. … Life does not always have to be serious, and when the time comes that it actually does, you won't have any doubts. You will know who you are, and you will be proud of the experiences that have made you the person you became."

Contact Joel Landau:

609-272-7215

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