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Ranney School Celebrates Graduation of the Class of 2024

Ranney School’s 76-member Class of 2024 celebrated its commencement on the campus of Monmouth University on Friday, May 24. Nineteen of the seniors, known as “Ranney Lifers,” attended the school for 10 or more years. Eleven seniors committed to play a sport at the next level, including basketball, rowing, baseball, field hockey, track and field, tennis, and equestrian. Next fall, the group will head off to attend some of the most prestigious colleges and universities across the country, including three students who will attend Harvard University. For a complete list of colleges, visit ranneyschool.org
During her Valedictorian Address, Riya Sikand told her classmates, “Too often, we find ourselves wrapped up in daydreaming about the future, but instead we need to take time to embrace what we are doing in this moment. Counting down the hours and minutes until the bell rang at 3:30 during sophomore year quickly turned into counting down the last 100 days before graduation. Although some of the days may have felt long, looking back now, our high school experience was over in a flash. Time moves far too quickly for us to be wrapped up in future plans without living in the present. I urge you all to stay grounded in the present moment, find the little thigs that make you happy and savor those emotions, feelings, and memories with the people you love.”
Riya reminisced about the Class of 2024’s time at Ranney and how it created life-long learners from an early age. “As I first learned in Dr. Delgado’s 9th grade World History class, the philosopher Immanuel Kant asserted that the guiding maxim of the 18th-century Enlightenment era was: “Sapere Aude,” or “Dare to Know.” Kant’s call to question, to challenge, and to seek a deeper understanding of the world has been a guiding principle throughout our education at Ranney. We began embracing this spirit of inquiry as Lower Schoolers with our fifth-grade capstone projects on topics like service dogs, space exploration, television, and submarines. These early explorations ignited our curiosity and instilled a love of learning.”
Head of School Dr. John Griffith wrote an occasional poem for the Class of 2024 inspired by Walt Whitman. After reading a passage from Whitman, Dr. Griffith asked, “What will your contribution and legacy be? How will you use your knowledge, your talents, and your passion to make a difference in the world? Your journey is just beginning and the world awaits the contributions only you can make. Whitman warns us against sleep-walking through life. He is the poet of passion.”
“In his original preface to Leaves of Grass, Whitman called the United States, ‘essentially the greatest poem.’ A small and cohesive class, you seem to reflect that strength in diversity. Somehow, despite all of your differences you have worked together and formed a community. Whitman lived in a troubled and divided time, writing some of his best work in the years leading up to the Civil War. Nevertheless, he believed America’s many branches –what he called its ‘multitudes’ of contrasts and complexities – are with drive its dynamism,” said Griffith. “That quality reminded me of this class.”
In his salutatorian address, Zanc Zhou shared a closing sentiment, “We are special in as sense, because we belong to the same community and it is probably the last time this group people will share the same space. You have written a remarkable chapter in the of a high school senior. I wish your lives to be filled with appreciation and joy, your heart filled with purity and love, your mind filled with clarity and serenity.”
The Class of 2024 leaves a legacy at Ranney School and has made an indelible mark on all those who had the opportunity to be a part of their educational journey.
At the graduation ceremony, nine students were awarded with honors:
Headmaster's Cup – Joseph Sciortino (University of Virginia)
Faculty Prize –  Zanc Zhao (Johns Hopkins University & Peabody Institute)
Faculty Prize – Riya Sikand (Harvard University)
Ann Kappel Citizenship and Service Award – Wyatt Rummler (University of California – San Diego)
Ann Kappel Citizenship and Service Award – Alberto Beltra (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University)
Gershom Tomlinson Humanitarian Award –  John Welch (Wofford College)
Ranney School Leadership Award – Gabrielle Morale (Villanova University)
Robert Paulus Leadership and Perseverance Award – Scott Olansen (Full Sail University)
Margaret M. Mahon Award – Lindsay Berliner (Fordham University)
Margaret M. Mahon Award – Sophia Lennon (Villanova University)
Lawrence S. Sykoff Award- Priscilla Michel (Hampton University)
Please view additional honors that were awarded at the Senior Celebration and Convocation:               
L.C. Lane English Award Sophia Lennon
History Riya Sikand (Harvard University)
Mathematics Veronica Zhang (Barnard College)
Instrumental/Orchestra Junran "Zanc" Zhao (Johns Hopkins University & Peabody Institute)
Instrumental/Jazz David "Trey" Junkin (Villanova University)
Vocal Claire Farren (University of Miami)
Theater Parsvi Shah (University of California – Los Angeles)
Matt Callahan Memorial Award for Tech Theater Veronica Polowczyk (Syracuse University)
Science Marco Lau (University of Illinois – Urbana –Champaign)
Visual Arts Gabby Morale (Villanova University)
Kate Greenberg Art Purchase Prize Sophia Lennon (Villanova University)
Spanish Riya Sikand (Havard University)
Mandarin Rosepreet Virdi (New York University)
French Thea Yang (University of California – Davis)
Computer Science, Engineering, & Technology Alberto Beltra (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University)
Robotics Alexander Ge (Boston University) and Alex Liu (Carnegie Mellon University)
Ram Sheila Bharara Award Justin Atnes (Wesleyan University)
Scholar Athletes of the Year
Michaela D’Arcy (Harvard University), Sophia Lennon (Villanova University), David “Trey” Junkin (Villanova University), Dakota Vastola (Harvard University)
Athletes of the Year Ryan Costello (Lousiana State University), John Welch (Wofford College), Priscilla Michel (Hampton College)
Edwards Spirit of Tennis Scholarship Awards Braden Chavez (Carnegie Mellon University) & Alex Presutti (Boston University)
Three-Sport Varsity Athlete Award
Colin Bradley (University of Miami), Indiana Raya (Marist College), Priscilla Michel (Hampton University), Alex Presutti (Boston University)
NJSIAA Scholar Athlete Award Haley Foster (Muhlenberg College)

Ranney School

235 Hope Road
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724
Tel. 732.542.4777

Our mission is to know and value every child, nurturing intellectual curiosity and confidence, and inspiring students to lead honorably, think creatively, and contribute meaningfully to society.