PLEASANTVILLE — Liberia’s U.S. ambassador, George S.W. Patten Sr., visited the city Tuesday to address local high school students upon their graduation.

“It’s important to encourage students,” Patten said upon his arrival at City Hall that afternoon.

He was greeted by Mayor Jesse Tweedle and Councilman William Christmas.

Patten said graduation from high school is a major step.

“We encourage them not to lose sight of what they’re going to do for the future,” he said.

Accompanying the ambassador was Pleasantville Board of Education Vice President James Barclay, who facilitated the visit.

“I recommended to the school that we could invite a high-profile person to speak at the school and that could be a way to honor our graduates for their commitment to learning,” said Barclay, who is from Liberia.

The Republic of Liberia was established on the west coast of Africa in 1821 by freed slaves from the United States.

Barclay said Patten’s trip was an honor. He said it isn’t often an ambassador from a country would visit a small U.S. city like Pleasantville.

Almost 10 years ago, the U.S. ambassador from Liberia, M. Nathaniel Barnes, visited the city and spoke to students at Pleasantville High School about the value of education.

Contact: 609-272-7251 CLowe@pressofac.com Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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