When she was in the 5th grade, Edith Kiprono sat in the Frances Bond Davis Theatre and watched the senior class run down the aisles laughing, dancing, and singing on the first day of school. She thought they were the “coolest girls ever” and she could not wait until her senior year.
This week marked the end of Edith’s senior year at Harpeth Hall. Though she has grown over the last eight years, she still thinks the seniors are the “coolest girls ever.”
The class of 2021, aside from being a remarkably cool class, has led a difficult year with grace, flexibility, and good humor. They have kept the spirits of the entire school community lifted and taught us all how to care for one another during hard times. “You inspired and led us all — students and adults — by helping us focus more on what was, rather than what was not,” Head of School Jess Hill said.
“Some of us started this Harpeth Hall chapter of our lives as 10- and 11-year-olds, barely knowing anyone,” Senior Frances Bradford said. “No matter who we were a few years ago before Harpeth Hall, we have all become something greater. This time has changed us for the better.”
The 98 members of the graduating class have changed the school for the better, as well. From creating new programs that help serve our community, including spearheading efforts to make more than 2,000 masks during COVID-19, to providing constant support and guidance to each other and the rest of the student body during a year of uncertainty and disappointment, each student has left an enduring mark on campus and they will be missed by all.
On a beautiful evening in May, bells rang across Souby Lawn, signifying the beginning of the 70th commencement ceremony at the current Harpeth Hall campus. For the first time in over a year, family and friends came together on campus to celebrate the Class of 2021 in person as the graduates collected their diplomas and began the next exciting step in their lives.
From here, the Class of 2021 will continue to grow the roots they planted at Harpeth Hall as they travel across the continent to continue their studies as college students.
“After we walk up Souby Lawn as graduates, no one will be able to guess what we will accomplish next,” Senior Nora Wang said.
Whatever dreams these graduates follow, we cannot wait to see what they achieve.
“This evening,” Ms. Hill concluded, “we send you into the world with our very best wishes and a solid belief that you, Class of 2021, will help us envision a better one.”
Katie Wray Valedictory Award: Sarah Cook
Second Honors: Clara Murff
Third Honors: Gretchen Walsh