Graduating seniors celebrated their individual interests and expressed their love for the KO community at Class Night, held the evening of May 27, with Commencement taking place the next morning.
Although the junior class was not included in the event this year unlike in years past, families were still invited to join the seniors on the Senior Green to watch performances and listen to speeches.
“Class Night is special because we all get to celebrate ourselves and each other,” senior Izzy Jacobsen said. “I found it especially valuable this year because we haven’t been able to do many things as a whole form.”
Senior Niki Taylor explained the immense value that Class Night holds not only for her, but also for the entire graduating class. “I like Class Night because it’s a great opportunity for all of the seniors to get together one final time before graduation,” she said. “It was great hearing people give speeches and performances that they clearly cared a lot about.”
Form 6 Dean Ronald Garcia and Head of School Tom Dillow both addressed the seniors at Class Night, but the real focus of the event was the speeches from seniors themselves. Seniors Madeline Arcaro, Chris Morris, Snehaa Ram, Sloan Duvall, Ahana Nagarkatti, Christina Lu, Eden Nenshati, and Mike DeMio all delivered their last speeches as KO students. These speeches were impactful not only for the speakers themselves, but also for those who were in attendance. “I got to be at Class Night because of my graduating brother, Henry Mandell, and the highlight of my night was hearing Ahana Nagarkatti’s speech,” junior Charlotte Mandell said. “I’ve known her and many of the other seniors for a very long time, so it was cool to see how much they have all grown.”
The speakers incorporated humor and nostalgia into their speeches; additionally, they gave advice to their classmates as they all head off in various directions. Speakers thanked specific teachers and friends who have had notable impacts on their KO journey. “In my speech, I decided to give advice to the rest of the senior class based on some life lessons I’ve learned from my time at this school,” Snehaa said. “Even though we’re all going to go down different paths, we have shared KO experiences that have taught us similar things.”
Instead of delivering speeches, other students chose to showcase their performative skills. This Class Night, there were two dance performances: one by senior Risha Ranjan and junior Amrita Natarajan, and another by senior Matthew Bzowyckyj. Both of these dances drew upon the dancers’ cultural backgrounds. Risha and Amrita each had solos, but spent much of their time dancing in sync; Matthew danced alone, but utilized props in his Ukrainian dance performance.
Many seniors also chose to sing onstage, either individually or with a group. The event’s solo singers included seniors Brandon DeLucia, Braeden Rose, Mary Ellen Carroll, Brianna Toedt, and Sadie Margolis. Each of the singers carefully selected songs to showcase their incredible vocal talents. The material ranged from well-known songs addressing mental health issues to a capella folk songs. In addition to the soloists, there were two groups that gave vocal performances: the seniors of Outlook, who performed an acapella rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and a group of seniors who performed a sing-along version of “Sweet Caroline,”
“My friends and I decided to perform ‘Sweet Caroline’ because we thought it would really engage the crowd,” Senior Henry Mandell said. “It was our final time on a KO stage and overall, I think that it was very fun and lighthearted and ended our time here well.”
Furthermore, Class Night afforded the graduating seniors a much-needed sense of community and togetherness, showcasing the variety of talents of the senior class that will continue to be appreciated and remembered in the years to come.