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BHS seniors celebrate commencement

Graduates line up at Brookline High School's commencement ceremony on June 2, 2024. Photo by Linus Guillory via the Public Schools of Brookline.
June 3, 2024

On Sunday, Brookline High School’s class of 2024 gathered with family, friends, and school staff at Cypress Field to celebrate the graduates in a commencement ceremony.

The afternoon included a multilingual welcome from international students at BHS, speeches from several members of the school community, and solo and group student musical performances.

In a speech to the graduating class, BHS senior Hattie Liang spoke fondly of the weekly emails she and her classmates received from Head of School Anthony Meyer, and expressed her gratitude for the student community, dedicated teachers, and cafeteria employees who memorize each student’s lunch order.

“When you find yourself with an annoying roommate in college, a terrible boss at work, or a teacher that seems like they don’t want to help you, remember you were raised at BHS, and that means you were raised by love,” Liang said.

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Meyer reflected on the class’ journey through high school, which coincided with the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the fall of 2020. Students persevered through remote, hybrid, and socially-distanced learning; regular testing and quarantines; all while witnessing systemic failures in handling the pandemic, Meyer said.

He recounted the highlights of the class of 2024’s time at BHS, including revisions to the student handbook, civic engagement and work in school government, and political demonstrations by students on campus.

“It must have been strange and scary to see so much in society fail and falter around you, and yet here you are, class of 2024 — living, powerful, proof of determination,” he said. “You grew as citizens, students, and human beings, despite the sheer strangeness of it all.”

In a keynote speech to the graduates, English teacher Keira Flynn-Carlson spoke about the importance of finding common ground. Flynn-Carlson encouraged students to stand up for what they believe in, but remain open-minded — adding that this approach may be the secret to healing “the fracturing of our country and of our world.”

“I hope you sit across from and next to people who look, pray, and love differently than you do, and get to know them. When you take those kinds of risks, the rewards are not just personal, they reverberate,” Flynn-Carlson said.

Video: See the commencement in full, filmed by Brookline Interactive Group