Congratulations to the Class of 2024!

Congratulations to the Class of 2024!
Congratulations to the Class of 2024!

Students and families celebrated the School’s 136th Commencement and the Lower and Middle School moving up ceremonies.
The Class of 2024 processed through campus for the final time on Friday, June 7, under bright blue skies and with a world of possibilities ahead of them.

“What kind of a world do you want to be part of?” Commencement speaker Kelsey Wirth ’87 asked the class. The co-founder of Align Technology and, more recently, the founder and head of the global climate nonprofit Mothers Out Front, Wirth encouraged the graduates to ponder the future they wanted to see. “What choices will you make over the course of your lives to help create that future?”
The day also marked the last Commencement for retiring Principal Mamadou Guèye, whom Head of School Bryan Garman called “the Mountain” and the “Prince of Joy.” “Walk gently and bravely and purposefully over the world,” Garman told the class. “Follow the example your unforgettable principal and my dear friend, Mamadou Guèye, has provided: Live with joy and passion, lead with love and kindness.”
The Class of 2024 weren’t the only Sidwell Friends students moving on. On Friday morning, the 4th graders (the Class of 2032) celebrated their move from Lower School to Middle School in a fun-filled ceremony. On Thursday, the 8th graders (the Class of 2028) joyously marked their move from Middle School to Upper School. Lower School Principal Adele Paynter noted that it was a special 4th grade Stepping Up ceremony for her: Many of the rising Middle School students had started pre-K the same year she arrived as principal. As part of the celebration, the students presented their class gifts: a donation to UNICEF, a new “dirt box” for the playground (with secret treasures buried within!), and a new sound system for the Lower School.
During their last moments in 8th grade, the Class of ’28 reflected on the rocky start to their Middle School careers, which began during the pandemic. But they persevered. As students from Teams Sky, Land, and Sea put it: “We mapped the world by hand, typed our own novels, and wrote our first research paper.” Middle School Principal Rachel Kane commended their success, telling them, “There is value to knowing how to actively pursue achievement.” As she quickly added, “there is also value in knowing how to create your own peace. And you have the capacity to do both.”
Quoting poet and former Sidwell Friends trustee Judy Brown P ’04, Garman told the 8th graders: “Forget the future/And just soak up now … /For the new/The yet to come/Let go of all of that/And sink into the harvest/That is in your hands.” It was a sentiment that would echo across the division-wide milestones, including when Wirth implored the Class of ’24 to “squeeze as much as you can out of this next chapter of life.”



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Celebrating Mamadou Guèye

Guèye told the more than 300 attendees that though his normal motto was “gratitude, generosity, and goodwill; tonight, it is gratitude, gratitude, and gratitude.”