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Montgomery Lower Middle School Hosts Naturalization Ceremony

Posted March 28, 2024


Montgomery Lower Middle School celebrated 38 area residents during a Naturalization Ceremony on March 20 with Mayor Neena Singh, a naturalized citizen herself, giving the keynote address. Fifth grade students witnessed the individuals from 13 countries taking their oaths of allegiance and formally becoming United States citizens.


Event organizer and speakers at the citizenship ceremony included (l to r): Fifth grade teacher Matt Margon, Assistant Principal Scott Pachuta, Principal Lisa Romano, Superintendent Mary McLoughlin, Mayor Neena Singh, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Directors Ya-Mei Chen and John Thompson.


Singh reflected on her personal experiences as an immigrant, reminding the audience that Montgomery is a community where anyone can accomplish great things, regardless of their country of origin. “Not too long ago, I was in your shoes,” she recalled. “I was born in India, and little did I know that one day, I would not only get the opportunity to become a U.S. citizen, but to even give back and serve my country as an elected official."

The recipients and their families were treated to a congratulatory video from President Biden, as well as remarks from Montgomery School District Superintendent Mary McLoughlin and representatives from the local U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services field office. Long-time Montgomery resident and Polish native Marta Chmielewska was among the cohort of new citizens. "It feels amazing and special,” she explained. “I now plan to go to school and to travel around the U.S., and especially to vote."

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The program was organized by fifth grade teacher Matt Margon as part of an ongoing part of the school’s civics curriculum that has hosted such events since 1974.


“There were 13 countries represented in the ceremony. That is exciting to us because in just Lower Middle School alone, we have close to 30 different countries represented in our student body,” explained Montgomery Township School District Superintendent Mary McLoughlin. “What many of us take for granted due to being born in the United States is taken very seriously by our guests today who chose and worked hard to become citizens of our country.”

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