Judge Judy offers words of wisdom to Barberton High School graduates

SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio -- It was no ordinary graduation night for Barberton High School senior Nicholas Ratay.

Judge Judy was in town Friday to give the commencement address after Ratay won the judge’s national essay contest on what makes Barberton special.

“It seemed like a welcoming place, supportive place, seemed like an encouraging place. It seemed like a place he felt as if he got a good start,” said Judge Judy.

Before she gave her speech, Judge Judy sat down with FOX 8 and talked about why she chooses to speak at high school graduation ceremonies.

“This is a place where you leave youth, leave childhood, and go onto the next place. It’s a special place for me to pop into the equation,” said Judge Judy.

“I was a little nervous to meet her, just because she is such a big celebrity,” said Ratay.

For Ratay, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Judge Judy and introduce her on stage.

“I love the city so much and my school. I am glad I was able to explain it to her so she could see what it was like. The fact she spoke so highly of it was the greatest honor,” said Ratay.

Ratay is going on to study musical education at Kent State University.

This is the third year for the contest.