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The end of May brought a significant milestone for Willows Preparatory School as we celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2024. This cohort, our largest yet, marks the second graduating class since our high school division opened in 2019. On a beautiful evening on May 31st, 2024, the campus was abuzz with excitement and pride as we gathered to honor these remarkable students.

A Journey of Excellence

From their first steps into our classrooms to the moment they walked across the stage, the Class of 2024 exemplified the values and spirit of Willows Prep. Each student has been on a unique journey, marked by dedication, resilience, and a thirst for knowledge. Their collective efforts have earned them over $1 million in scholarships and acceptance into some of the world’s most prestigious universities, including the University of California, Los Angeles, Northeastern University, and the University of Washington.

An Evening of Celebration

The commencement ceremony was a heartfelt celebration of achievements and new beginnings. Mary Ewart opened the event with a message of pride and reflection: “Graduation is a time for celebration and memories, for reflections and goal setting, and for honoring the work done well by the graduates you see before you today.”

Student speakers Aiden Campbell and Kathryn Stepanova captivated the audience with their reflections and advice. Kathryn quoted Shakespeare and highlighted the importance of embracing failure: “Greatness is impossible without failure. So let that be a reminder to all of us, when times are tough in university; failure is a prerequisite in many cases before success comes.”

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The evening featured a beautiful performance by Kathryn Stepanova and Sophie Florescu, who sang “Slipping Through My Fingers” by ABBA, adding a nostalgic and hopeful touch to the celebration.

Head of School Rich Stearns and senior faculty members presented diplomas, with personalized tributes honoring each graduate’s unique contributions and achievements. Reflecting on their time together, faculty member Kevin Honz noted, “These students have not only excelled academically but have also shown an incredible capacity for empathy, creativity, and resilience.”

The ceremony concluded with the symbolic gesture of moving tassels from right to left, marking the graduates’ transition to the next chapter of their lives. Attendees then enjoyed refreshments and desserts, with a delicious spread sponsored by the Family Association and prepared by Ms. Julie Lee and her team.

As we bid farewell to the Class of 2024, we are filled with pride and excitement for what lies ahead for these exceptional students. Their journey at Willows Prep has equipped them with the knowledge, skills, and values to excel in their future endeavors. We look forward to hearing about their successes and the positive impact they will undoubtedly make in the world.

College Acceptances – Class of 2024:

Arizona State University
Cal Poly Pomona
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Case Western Reserve University
Emerson College
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Knox College
University of London
Loyola University Chicago
Michigan State University
Northeastern University
Oregon State University
Penn State University
Purdue University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rutgers University
Santa Clara University
Seattle Pacific University
Seattle University
St Lawrence University
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Davis
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, San Diego
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Durham
University of Florida
University of Iowa
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Massachusetts
University of Miami
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
University of Oregon
University of Portland
University of Puget Sound
University of Washington
University of York
Virginia Tech
Washington State University
Western Washington University
Whitman College
Willamette University

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