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  • RHS graduates 331 members of Class of 2024
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RHS Graduates 331 in Class of 2024


Randolph High School graduated 331 members of the Class of 2024 on Thursday, June 13. The ceremony was held on Bauer Field beginning at 5:30 p.m.

As RHS principal Jessica Baxter noted in her opening remarks, the Class of 2024 was significant as the students started as freshmen in the fall of 2020, during the peak of the Coronavirus, alternating taking classes remotely through Teams and coming to school while masked.

“They ended middle school and started high school during a pandemic; yet that is not what defines this class,” Baxter said. “They have instead been defined through their positive actions over the past four years. This class of seniors is passionate, hardworking and tightly knit; they demonstrate a spirit that is kind, generous and caring.”

Colin O’Meara, the student council president, took the podium next, stressing how not just school but also daily tasks became more enjoyable when he adopted a different approach to them. “I treated high school like a journey up a large mountain, rather than what it really is, a roller coaster with countless ups and downs,” he said. “However, I quickly realized this outlook did more harm than good; I needed to change. Instead, I chose to wake up with a commitment to take school one day at a time rather than waiting to cross out the days of how much time I had left; good or bad, it’s just one day. This approach made it much easier to take on the day.”

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In the words of one of my favorite books, ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower,’ ‘we accept the love we think we deserve,’ and it is my hope that no matter where you go—because you all deserve everything the world has to offer—that you will find the people that make it all easier.”

— Stephanie Jennis

Following him, James Bartl and Elizabeth Morgievich, the class co-salutatorians, spoke next, with Bartl stressing the important role the graduates have moving forward.  “As the next generation, it is our responsibility to take the reins from those who came before us and guide the world into a new age,” he said. “And with youth comes opportunity; opportunity for a better life, opportunity for you to succeed, opportunity for a better nation.” In the fall, Bartl plans to attend North Carolina State University and pursue a major in environmental engineering.

Morgievich then spoke about how just being oneself is the best thing life can offer and how students shouldn’t care about what others think or try to meet anyone else’s expectations but their own. “I’m happy that my hard work was honored with this award, and more importantly, that I get to share my thoughts at graduation,” she said. “Over time I learned that all those silly things that I once worried about meant absolutely nothing in the end, and that nothing feels as good as taking care of yourself.” Morgievich plans to attend Rutgers as a member of the school’s Honors Academy and also plans to major in engineering.

Kyle Hart, the class valedictorian, next shared his speech about how students should not take life for granted. “I needed to just start doing whatever I wanted, whatever makes me the happiest,” he said. “I don’t care about what adults will say. I don’t care if they think having fun is throwing our lives away and that we will regret these decisions in the future or that taking big risks is a mistake. Many others have witnessed first-hand how tomorrow is not a guarantee.”

After Hart, Teacher of the Year Stephanie Jennis, who teaches English at RHS, took the podium. “Always remember to surround yourself with these kinds of people; the ones who will lift you up, who will make you feel absolutely infinite, who make you feel your story matters because it does, no matter where you’re headed after high school. I hope you always keep that in mind,” she said. “In the words of one of my favorite books, ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower,’ ‘we accept the love we think we deserve,’ and it is my hope that no matter where you go—because you all deserve everything the world has to offer—that you will find the people that make it all easier.”

Next up was Jennifer Fano, the superintendent of Randolph Schools, who shared a speech about the opportunities that lie ahead for graduates to make a difference. “Today marks the culmination of 13 years of hard work and dedication, signaling the completion of a significant chapter in your life story,” she said. “Your achievements will not only be measured by your academic accomplishments but also by the positive impact you were poised to make on society. Now as graduates you have the chance to confront challenges with courage and pursue your dreams with unwavering determination.”

After Fano’s speech, the seniors received their diplomas, with applause from their families and friends in the audience.

Ryan Kress, the class president, closed the ceremony, speaking metaphorically about the children’s game hide-and-seek. “At the time, five-year-old me just saw it as a fun game to play with friends, but looking back, it isn’t just a game; it can be a metaphor for life,” he said. “In hide-and-seek you don’t know where to look; you’re just looking. Life is very much the same; we search aimlessly, trying to find our way, trying to discover who we are and what we are meant to do. We stumble. We fall. We get back up, and we keep searching. The beauty of this journey is that every hiding place and every seeker teaches us something valuable. Each misstep brings us closer to understanding ourselves and our purpose.”

Kress then instructed the graduates to perform the time-honored tradition of moving the tassels on their graduation caps. “Class of 2024, it’s now the time you’ve all been waiting for,” he said. “Currently, I’d like the Class of 2024 to stand up. Rams, please move your tassels from right to left. On the count of three, we will throw our caps into the air. One. Two. Three.”

And with the sky now a sea of tossed caps, the Class of 2024 had officially graduated and will soon be heading on to the next chapter of their lives, the memories of RHS staying with them as they begin the journey ahead.

“I feel ecstatic about the journey ahead of me,” senior Mark Samuel said, prior to the ceremony. His advice to incoming freshman? “Be bold; don’t be afraid to try new stuff and join clubs.”

About the Contributor
Gretchen Tuttle
Gretchen Tuttle, Opinion Editor
Gretchen Tuttle is a sophomore who is in her second year at Rampage, currently as an opinion editor. She also writes for TAPinto Randolph as part of the TAP Club. Gretchen also does Cross Country and Lacrosse. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her two cats, Oreo and Scout, as well as two dogs, Rocket and Spookie.
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