On Wednesday, 294 Holmdel eighth graders were applauded, congratulated, and bestowed diplomas on their way to High School at a ceremony on the campus of Brookdale Community College.
The girls in their colorful short dresses and young men in suits sat in chairs in the center of the Collins Arena, surrounded by proud parents and friends in the bleachers who were undoubtably grateful to be in the air-conditioned comfort on a 95 degree afternoon.
The Class of 2012 appeared to be more male than female. Of the 294 students, there were 30 more boys than girls seated in the ceremony.
According to the guidance office, 267 have indicated they will continue to Holmdel High School.
Some have succeeded in winning spots in the prestigious Monmouth County Vo-tech Career Academies. Of those, 18 will be attending High Technology High on the Brookdale Campus, 6 are going to Allied Health and Science in Neptune, 1 is going to Biotechnology High School in Freehold, 1 to Communications High School in Wall Township, and 1 to the Marine Academy of Science & Technology Academy on Sandy Hook.
The incoming 8th grade class presently numbers 251 students, and is about 15% smaller than the outgoing class. Fluctuations in class size is not unusual, said Board President Barbara Garrity.