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Graduation of the Class of 2024
Branson Communications

Branson's Class of 2024 Bids Farewell on a Sweltering Graduation Day

As the outdoor temperature soared, the afternoon of Wednesday, June 5, 2024 marked the end of an era for Branson’s Class of 2024. Students, families, faculty and staff gathered for a poignant graduation ceremony, acknowledging the achievements and bidding farewell to another group of graduates ready to embrace their futures.

In our rustic outdoor seating area, Branson’s faculty and staff filed in in order of tenure at Branson – from 30+ years to first-year teachers. The celebratory atmosphere was set by the whimsical strains of “Prelude No. 1” by George Gershwin,” performed by Branson junior Owen Xu, invoking a sense of anticipation. 

The graduating class, adorned in blue caps and gowns, descended the steps toward Prize Day Field to the familiar sound of “Pomp and Circumstance,” played by Branson student musicians. 

Senior Dylan Whisenant’s speech marveled at the camaraderie and spirit of unity within the relatively small yet dynamic class. Afterward, Chamber Music performed the second movement from “Kindra’s Suite,” arranged by senior Drew Wilikinson.

Senior Class Representatives Cameron Aryanpour, Kaia Hays, and Lillian Lehman presented the Mount Tamalpais School Award to Math Teacher Gretchen Koles, recognizing her excellence in teaching dedication to her students, and her invaluable impact on the senior class's development.

Head of School Chris Mazzola addressed the audience with a heartfelt address drawing inspiration from Branson’s core values of courage, kindness, honor, and purpose. Reflecting on the significance of transitions and new beginnings, Mazzola instilled confidence in the Class of 2024, emphasizing their potential to shape a brighter future. 

Senior Class presidents Logan Tusher and Charlie Zwibelman bookended Mazzola’s speech with readings of inspirational poems – Linda Ellis’s poem, “The Dash” and “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann, symbolizing the culmination of their transformative journeys at Branson.

Before the presentation of diplomas, juniors Tom Lardner and Karis Crabill sang “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac to the Class of 2024.

Amidst cheers and applause, each senior approached the podium to receive their well-deserved diplomas, marking the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

Carol Herter, Branson’s Registrar and Assistant Director of Studies, was acknowledged for her retirement after 25 years of service to Branson students. As her appreciative colleagues stood and cheered, she was presented with a white graduation cap and gown of her own.

To the graduates of the Class of 2024, as you embark on your next adventure, remember that Branson will always be a home—a place where memories were made, friendships forged, and dreams realized. Congratulations, and may your future be as bright as the sun that shone down upon your graduation day.

View the full photo gallery by Wedge Photography here.

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