Home Haddonfield News ‘Stronger together’: High school graduates Class of 2024

‘Stronger together’: High school graduates Class of 2024

Haddonfield Memorial High School’s Class of 2024 celebrated its graduation on June 18 with reflections on student accomplishments through the years.

Those included the school-wide multicultural day, when cultural clubs sponsored activities and learning opportunities for students not involved in a club. Superintendent Chuck Klaus highlighted other achievements:

  • The choral department performed 48 pieces in eight languages across five ensembles and 10 performances.
  • The Madrigal singers placed third out of 20 at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.
  • The marching band competed in the Atlantic Coast Championships and finished in the top five of all Group 1 schools.
  • Thirteen seniors drew portraits of orphaned children in Malaysia.
  • The school’s teams had a collective 257 wins and 97 losses this year, for a 73% win rate, along with nine conference titles, eight sectional titles and 5 New Jersey State Championships.

“Success in the classroom is only one factor in defining this class,” Klaus noted. “They are creative and inventive. Their efforts and drive in the art world are second to none.”

Graduating senior Mia Bompensa, who gave the first summa cum laude address, reflected on the graduates’ resilience.

” … We overcame all the challenges that we faced these four years,” she said “We can sit here and recognize that the paper due at 11:59, the big presentation that we dreaded, is all in the past and just a steppingstone to get us here today.”

Graduate Brian Meng’s summa cum laude speech focused on the importance of authenticity, with the example of a friend’s Wawa hoagie order – with extra honey mustard – that bemused others.

In his summa cum laude address, Brian Meng shared the personal example of a friend’s Wawa Italian hoagie order – with a ton of honey mustard on the side.

“When the order came out, all of us were just staring at it practically drowning in honey mustard,” he recalled. “I’m sure we were thinking to ourselves, ‘Who puts that much honey mustard on a sandwich, let alone on an Italian?’

“It was truly a sight to see.”

Meng also encouraged his fellow classmates to be as weird as his friend, to be okay with standing out from the norm.

“From when we’re young, peer pressures force us to fit in,” he explained. “Take for example those middle- and high-school movies we’ve all seen, where the characters want to just ‘be normal.’ It’s so much harder to go against the grain and take a popular path rather than just stand out.

” … But as Kid Cudi said,” Meng added, referencing the rapper/singer, ‘I’m definitely weird. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.'”

Principal Tammy McHale noted that she’ll remember the Class of 2024 for their problem-solving abilities, including when they navigated a slip ‘n’ slide into school for the annual senior prank. What started with Saran wrap and dish soap evolved into an outdoor prank involving a tarp and gallons of water.

“What was actually great to watch was them working together regardless of their group,” McHale pointed out. “At that moment, they were just the Class of 2024 …

“This class has cheered and supported one another for years,” she added. “Because of that, they’ve grown to realize they are stronger, smarter and better together. They are resilient, kind and determined, and I have no doubt that the Class of 2024 will be there for each other in the future, even as they break out to face this new phase in life.”

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