‘Pursue your dreams’

Vraj Desai celebrates with the help of physical therapist Glenn Stackhouse and teaching assistant Holly Staul.

After 47 years in the packaging and display industry, Larry Thornton was wondering how he would fill up his days when he retired in 2008. He no longer has such worries. After moving to Peapack-Gladstone, NJ, in 2011, he discovered Matheny and started volunteering one day a week in a Matheny School science class. He now volunteers three days a week and serves on Matheny’s Board of Trustees and its Community Advisory committee.

For these reasons, there was no more appropriate keynote speaker for The Matheny School’s graduation ceremony June 12. Thornton’s affection for Matheny and its students was evident. Volunteering in the school, he said, “is inspiring to me.” As he relived his first tour of Matheny through a symbolic tour he gave the graduating students, he urged the graduates to “work hard and pursue your dreams. Never give up.”  Matheny, he added, “is an exceptional school and a model for the state and the nation.”

Sean Murphy, Matheny School principal, said the graduation ceremony “celebrates the achievements of the entire Matheny community. Their dreams and the dreams of their parents are our goal.” Other speakers included Chris King, Matheny vice president of operations; Daniel McLaughlin, chair of the Matheny Board of Trustees; Thomas Belding, president of the Matheny School Board; and William Horton, mayor of Peapack-Gladstone. The graduates were Catherine Aragona, Christopher Asbell, Bruno Correia, Vraj Desai, Mark O’Connell, Tasha Santiago-O’Keefe and Aaron Turovlin.

Larry Thornton congratulates Ana Correia and her son Bruno.

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