Class of 2024: Accomplished, Inspiring, Principled

The Harrison High School Commencement Exercises celebrated an empathic, principled, accomplished, and inspiring Class of 2024 with family, friends, District administrators, faculty, staff, and members of the Board of Education gathered at the SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, June 26, 2024. The ceremony commenced with a moment of silence in memory of Mark-Anthony Effy Giordano, an 8th-grade student at LMK Middle School, before proceeding to highlight the remarkable accomplishments of the Harrison High School Class of 2024.

Principal Kimberly Beukema congratulated and welcomed graduates and acknowledged those in Harrison’s schools and community who made this moment possible, highlighting the extraordinary work of faculty and staff from kindergarten through 12th grade. She addressed the Class of 2024, “You taught us all an important lesson – there is nothing better than being yourself, and vulnerability IS a strength. Each of you found your unique voice and felt safe to explore and take risks at your high school.” 

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Louis Wool, shared the wide-ranging accomplishments of Harrison High School’s “most successful graduating class,” which include Regeneron finalists, scholars and interns, National Merit Finalists, Metro Award winners, League and Section Champions, and future NCAA athletes, among many other achievements. He reflected on the “power of possibility” and the importance of saying “you can” to children – “everything we do is designed to elevate their voices.”  The Harrison High School Class of 2024 embraced every opportunity and the embodiment of the District’s commitment described by Dr. Wool, “In Harrison, we believe all means ALL.” 

Superintendent Wool also praised the graduates’ willingness to share their vulnerabilities and the influence of “group think,” reflecting he knew in 6th grade that this class would have a profound and lasting impact on the school district. Dr. Wool shared stories of graduates who, despite their extraordinary success, never failed to support and value one another. 

Board of Education Vice President Kelly Mulvoy Mangan encouraged the graduates to embrace the final attribute as an International Baccalaureate to be “reflective” and to take all they learned in Harrison with them: “Be proud to be from Harrison, be proud to be a Husky.”

After a performance of “Our Time” from the Broadway musical Merrily We Roll Along, sung by senior members of the chorus, three graduates addressed their classmates: Senior Class President Emilie Oestreicher, the teacher-selected speaker Lucia Lammers, and student-selected speaker Jordan Lubowitz. The messages to classmates were thoughtful and reflected the character of their class. 

Class President Emilie Oestreicher encouraged classmates to “Recognize the value you bring and the unique insights you possess…We can all play a part in building a more vibrant community by creating an atmosphere of shared learning and encouragement.”

Lucia Lammers shared the many “firsts” and “lasts” the Class of 2024 experienced together, “Harrison High School’s Class of 2024 is truly like no other in our extreme passion, resilience, creativity, togetherness, pride, and courage. We made it. Today, let’s rejoice in another first, graduating from high school.”

Jordan Lubowitz reminded graduates that greatness comes from discomfort and hard work, “I challenge all of us… to get more uncomfortable: go introduce yourself to people you don’t know. Let’s step out of our comfort zones and meet new people, people with diverse identities and perspectives. Embrace discomfort by actively working to improve and help the lives of others…” 

The ceremony concluded with the awarding of diplomas to the Class of 2024, tassel exchange, and traditional tossing of graduation caps.