Home Cherry Hill News ‘Adaptable and resourceful’, East High’s Class of ’24 graduates

‘Adaptable and resourceful’, East High’s Class of ’24 graduates

Class featured 20 valedictorians

Emily Liu/The Sun
The Cherry Hill East Class of 2024 were described as adaptable and resourceful during their graduation on June 14.

Cherry Hill East celebrated its graduation on June 14 at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. The class began its journey during the pandemic, in 2020, and will be the last class to graduate with Dr. Dennis Perry as the school’s principal, as he will be retiring after this year.

The class had 20 valedictorians: Ananya Balasubramanya, Hannah Callahan, Olivia Ding, Gia Gupta, Karina Gupta, Rebecca Hu, Alexander Kang, Eloise Kipnis, Heidi Kwak, Andrew Langmuir, Christian Lee, Braden Lipman, Sophia Liu, Ajuni Oberoi, Zachary Pasternack, Nicholas Ryan, Eugene Veksler, Maxim Veksler, Crystal Yeh and Deanna Yi.

“Do you remember that D.C. trip?” Thomas Piotrowski, who gave the class president’s address, asked jokingly. “I don’t.”

The trip was among one of the many things that were lost during the pandemic. He remembered how things had a bit more normalcy in sophomore year, but noted that they had to wear masks for a time, “which may have led to a decline in social skills.”

In spite of the pandemic, the Class of 2024 still were able to create memories together: Senior Sunrise, raising money for Leukemia and Lymphoma research, having their best Spirit Week and biggest turn out for the dance, Piotrowski noted. The students also attended their senior trip in Florida, voted on Mr. East for Prom and hosted a senior skate party.

“We finally got our year. Everything met our expectations,” Piotrowski said.

Andrew Langmuir gave the valedictory address and reflected on how the Class of 2024 stood up for what they believed in, like when 2,000 students walked out to protest teacher transfers.

“I ask that you begin this next chapter, whatever it may be, free from any restraints,” Langmuir said. “Work to free yourselves from bias and preconceived judgments you made. Work not to find a place, but to create a place yourself in this world.”

Ananya Balasubramanya, who gave the senior address, reflected on the value of the education they had received and on how the people they know now could go on to do great things.

“We are all graduating with honors,” Balaubramanya said. “We’re graduating with the honor of learning from the esteemed teachers, administrators and staff of East. We’ve all been educated on the importance of avoiding microaggressions just as we’ve been educated on English and math.”

In his final speech to the graduating class, East’s principal Perry acknowledged that much had changed in the four years that the students had attended East, as they had learned new terms like “remote” and “asynchronous learning,” and “ChatGPT.”

He encouraged students to remember the lessons they learned early on, in kindergarten as many of them will still apply.

“Share everything. Don’t hit. Say that you’re sorry when you hurt someone,” Perry said. He described the class as “adaptable” and “resourceful” and also encouraged students to understand the importance of sleep in their lives, to learn the permanence of social media and also to try something new, and actually be social rather than sitting alone in one’s room being on social media.

Assistant Principal Kimberly Keyack acknowledged the different challenges the class has faced.

“Each challenge you faced was a life test and pushed you to grow stronger,” she said. “That strength will grow as you continue to face various challenges and surprises that come your way.

“It may be easy, but don’t turn away or avoid the hard parts because that’s where you’ll experience the most growth and learn your greatest lessons.”

Exit mobile version