The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

Connection remains with the Class of 2024 as they graduate

Anushka Tekade
Seniors sit down to watch others receive their diplomas.

The Class of 2024 graduated on Friday, June 7 at the Westford Academy Trustees Field, marking the end of a four year journey filled with unforeseen changes.

Despite concerns about the weather, Friday evening began with bright, clear skies and warm temperatures, unlike the past two years.

The ceremony began with the WA band welcoming the 377 seniors onto the field as family members and spectators filled the field and the stands, eager to celebrate a four year journey coming to a close. After all the seniors had been seated, the WA honors choir and WA band performed the national anthem before Principal Dan Twomey began his first Principal’s Welcome.

Twomey thanked the custodial staff, buildings and maintenance staff, WA broadcasting advisor Mark Miller, and Hilary Langille as well as retiring teachers Anjli Trehan, Frank Sitarski, and Richard Posch. He also recognized WA staff and faculty as a whole for creating an environment that allowed students to persevere through the challenges they faced this year.

In his speech to the Class of 2024, Twomey discussed the ideas he considered for the topic of his speech before he realized that the students featured at graduation would already be providing an excellent representation of the perseverance and greatness of the class. He then introduced director of school counseling Lauren Clark who recognized the Class of 2024 salutatorian, Jack Whitman.

“I don’t need to say much at all because the wonderful representatives and the students of the Class of 2024 are here to do it for us,” Twomey said.

Clark highlighted Whitman’s balance of academics and, athletics and positive attitude which shone through in each of his many interests.

“Jack’s dedication, sportsmanship, and leadership shine through in everything he does,” Clark said. “Despite all his success, he remains one of the nicest, most genuine individuals you will ever meet. He’s not just a scholar and an athlete, he’s a role model and generally great human being.”

School counselor Brian Doherty then recognized valedictorian Alex Korchev and spoke of Korchev’s exceptional intelligence and passion for math, exemplified by his completion of math classes at UMass Lowell and tutoring of math students in all levels of school.

“What stood out to me about Alex was his humbleness. With all the praise coming his way, he always remained grounded,” Doherty said. “In my 20 years of school counseling, I would say Alex stands out as one of the more exceptional students I’ve ever worked with.”

The 2024 class officers were then welcomed to the stage for their special presentations. Secretary Yash Sawney thanked their class advisor Patrick Claycomb and Twomey, treasurer Mitali Deshmukh thanked class advisor Lynn Bonakdar, and vice president Tarun Sreekanth thanked Dean of the Class of 2024, Betsy Murphy. The officers all recognized the work that has been put towards making the experience of the Class of 2024 the best it could be for the students, and the positive attitude all five faculty members constantly brought with them to their work.

WA’s alma mater was then performed by the band and honors choir, followed by Murphy’s address to the class. Murphy discussed the differences between the graduation of the Class of 2020 and 2024 and the strength the class had displayed while moving through a freshman year overshadowed by the pandemic. She thanked faculty and staff and likened the journey of the Class of 2024 to the show Survivor in how the class had entered the new experience together and are now putting out the torch to leave the village of high school.

Class speaker Alex Kwon was then invited to the podium where she talked about the impact the Class of 2024 would have on WA and their legacy of connection and togetherness. She emphasized the class’ ability to lean on each other through difficult periods and the importance of staying connected.

“For four years, whether we were learning remotely or in person, we have created a special bond. Never underestimate this power,” Kwon said. “I encourage you all to protect and cherish these relationships. This is what is most valuable in today’s world, our connection […] Wherever we land as we go through life’s challenges, remember that you are not alone.”

Members of the Westford Academy Board of Trustees, Geoff Hall and Kevin Reagan, then presented the awards for most worthy representatives to Whitman and Leah Spinney and academic excellence to Saniya Choudhry for English, Pravar Mukkala for social studies and German, Whitman for mathematics and Spanish, Korchev for science and computer science, Justin Davighi for engineering, Henry Longtin for French, Maximilian France for Latin, Nicholas Muller for Mandarin, Ivy Vernalia for visual art, Jeffery Laflamme for music, Gabriela Sanders for theater arts, Rhythm Arora for business, Louise Andrews for physical education, and Autumn Humphrey for health and wellness.

Superintendent Christopher Chew delivered the congratulatory remarks and presented the class to the school committee for the conferring of their diplomas.

“Don’t confuse the person you are with the person you can become. Typically I shy away from phrases that begin with the word ‘don’t’ […] still I leave it with you to consider how it might resonate,” Chew said.

The Class of 2024 band then played the class song, “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay. For the closing remarks, 2024 class president Devesh Khamitkar closed out the ceremony by reminding the class of the most important parts of their journey. He explained that his memories of his grades and test results are fuzzy but his interactions with his classmates are still clear.

“Though I’m not there yet, I’m sure that at the end of it all, when you’re looking back at the story of your life, it’s not going to be the grades, or the fancy job, or the success, that I’m so sure you’ll attain, that you’re even going to think about,” Khamitkar said. “It’s going to be the way that you connected with the people around you while doing so.”

Khamitkar concluded by asking the class to reflect on the challenges they went through and be grateful for the people who helped them through their trials and tribulations before presenting Twomey and Chew with the new high school graduates.

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About the Contributors
Srivas Arun
Srivas Arun, News Editor
Hello! My name is Srivas Arun and I am currently a sophomore  and a co-news editor for the Ghostwriter. You can find me on the cross country and track teams year round. I am interested in spreading information to the student body about WA and its community.
Anushka Tekade, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Anushka Tekade and I’m a freshman. I’m a staff writer for the Ghostwriter club and am excited to take photos this year! I hope to document special moments this school year through photos. I enjoy all forms of art including, drawing, painting, music, and photography. 

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