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‘You did not let us down’: West High’s Class of ’24 graduates

Class remembered for its resilience and perseverance

Emily Liu/The Sun
West High graduates held their thumbs out to signify the West Way at the school’s June 14 graduation. The ceremony took place at Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.

The Cherry Hill West High School Class of 2024 raised their thumbs to symbolize the West Way tradition at commencement on June 14.

The ceremony – held at Temple University’s Liacouras Center – had seven valedictorians: Tavion Bailey, Janet Yumin Kim, Sophia Levine, Sydney Kathleen Rondeau, Cody San, Benedict Jude Segrest and Alexandra Ann Tweedie. The graduates began their freshman year in 2020, at the height of COVID.

Levine recalled what that was like in her valedictory address.

“The first day of school is typically filled with intro videos introducing the school and then getting lost within the building,” she remembered. ” … Instead, our first day was filled with computer screens and consistently being asked to turn on our cameras. The second day was the same, and so was the third day.

“And for some of us, those Google meet links lasted the rest of the school year.”

Despite that rocky start, Levine noted that by junior year, the class had adjusted to the rigors of high school and recounted the memories they had made along the way. She and graduate Alexandra Pitt, who gave the National Honor Society address, recalled the lip sync battles, West’s first multicultural day and East High vs. West games – among others – as highlights of their high-school careers.

They also addressed both the school’s boys and girls soccer teams winning their Group 3 finals back to back against Shawnee in 2022.

Principal Dr. John Burns reiterated what it meant to be a lion at West.

“To be a lion at West means believing and doing what inspires and challenges you and doing it well,” he explained. “Getting up ridiculously early for a swimming or lacrosse practice, eating some kind of breakfast on the run, usually from Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks.

” … When you entered school four years ago, we looked forward to the excitement you would bring,” Burns added. “You did not let us down.”

Superintendent Dr. Kwame Morton then delivered his final address to the Class of 2024.

“You’ve demonstrated resilience, perseverance in adapting throughout your high-school years,” he remarked. “Grace in seeking to understand others while also striving to be understood. Now, as you move forward, I want you to do so with pride and dignity.

“Be guided by the power of imagination and know that what you accomplish in the future is only limited by what your mind can imagine.”

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