Farewell, Class of 2021: The Radnorite Senior Edition


Radnor High School Class of 2021 Graduation, photograph taken by Sammy Rosin.

Anne Griffin, Editor in Chief

On Wednesday, June 16 at 4:00 pm, Radnor High School’s Class of 2021 graduated. The ceremony was held outdoors at Villanova University with beautiful weather, celebrated with parents, families, and friends in attendance. A live-streamed version of the graduation can be found here. Mr. Tim Midget, a beloved Ithan Elementary physical education teacher, gave the keynote address. He spoke about growing up and living by his classic advice: be active, be healthy, be happy. Other graduation speakers included Class Vice President Victoria DiCarlo, Class Treasurer Elise Palmer, Executive Director Sheila Esgro, Class President and Valedictorian Brendan Hung, Salutatorian Richa Kuklani, Superintendent Dr. Batchelor, and Principal Ms. Kevgas. Speakers discussed the resiliency of the graduating class, the challenges they met, and the ways in which they dealt with and overcame their challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Photos of graduation can be found here and additional photos of senior events can be found on the school district website

Becca Zajac, our Class Secretary, gave the closing speech after the presentation of diplomas. Now, graduation is an undeniably big moment — the culmination of 12 years of hard work. But Becca chose to highlight the sometimes minute and unappreciated moments of high school. Writer Richard Price gave the following advice to journalists, but I think the same concept applies: “The bigger the issue, the smaller you write. … You pick the smallest manageable part of the big thing, and you work off the resonance.” Essentially, when dealing with something of such magnitude, sometimes the way to comprehend its emotion and impact is by looking at the smallest pieces. 

High school is a big, messy, and chaotic time. But small moments, like touring the school for the first time and getting lost, the long line that wrapped around the cafeteria on Russ’ muffin days, the way the floors squeaked under sneakers when it rained, the way seniors would pass us as a freshman for walking too slow in the hallway, the rolls of gossamer that hung for our Candyland-themed Freshman semi-formal, the mad rush for Chick-fil-a at the beginning of lunches and Alfredo Fridays, the glow in the dark tunnel into Sophomore Semi-formal and moonbounce, the LM painting until early hours and midnight milkshakes, the posters hanging from every staircase and wall for officer elections, the collective anxiety before math tests as people frantically read formulas aloud, the pineapple and mango smell in the bathrooms before they were locked for the day, the constant threat to tow junior’s cars over the PA system, the bleachers shaking under the student section at football games as the Ruckus cheered on our teams, rolling into first period late with an iced coffee or running out of fourth period early to get to Wawa, the deafening sound of the senior class during LM pep rallies, and the way administration would stand in the corner during senior dance parties during LM week monitoring for dance code violations, or the way the science hallway always smelled like baked goods above the FACS room, or the “oooohs” of classmates after getting called down to the principal’s office for not submitting the Daily Screener Survey—these small, seemingly insignificant moments filled my days over the years. These are the moments I’ll look back on with wonder, laughter, and better judgment in 20 years. 

As a person very fond of control, I reveled in the seeming predictability of senior year as an underclassman. I imagined painting the field house, getting into my dream college under Early Decision, creating the greatest hallways in LM week history, attending sports games to cheer on our seniors, and celebrating completely with the senior class. 

Some of that happened this year, some of that did not. The field house was painted beautifully with a musical theme. This was our first senior event of the year and everyone was outdoors, masked, socially distanced, and temperature checked. All the same, for many of us, it was the first time we saw each other in months, kicking off a truly unpredictable year. 

I think the lack of control and predictability is what made the last year so difficult. I remember sadly joking, “we’ll at least we’re not seniors,” as their world fell apart. The joke was on me as the pandemic carried into the 2020-21 school year and affected all aspects of life.

I consider myself to be a studious, curious, and passionate person. I always looked forward to college. In junior year, I mistakenly bubbled in the circle on a standardized test asking for college mail (any underclassmen reading this, please do not). As my inbox filled, I marveled at how many colleges wanted me. I submitted applications and poured my heart into my essays. And I got rejected or waitlisted from my top five schools. 

I was devastated, to say the least. But much later, when the pain dulled, I realized that I made two egregious mistakes: one, I assigned order and logic to a random and flawed system. The college admissions process is not a meritocracy, nor is it a perfect process, especially this year as applications for some colleges doubled without requiring test scores. My second mistake was believing that my rejections were personal failures. I had equated success, status, and intelligence with admittance to “elite” institutions. Unlearning this mindset is a long and painful process, but ultimately, I know I’ll be better for it. And for anyone going through a similar situation, I highly recommend documentaries about the college admissions scandal which soften the blow. But, like everyone says “Everything will work out as it should.”

For me, one of the best ways to regain confidence in myself was writing for the school paper and participating in Radnorite’s discussions. I joined the paper my freshman year and it has been my privilege to serve as the Editor-in-Chief over the last year. I am continually impressed with our writers’ dedication and diligence, especially in covering sensitive topics. 

Over time, the year came together. After last year and the canceling of all spring sports, our RHS teams came back stronger than ever this year with both the Girls and Boys Lacrosse teams winning States! Other memorable events for the senior class include the senior prom, the senior carnival, the senior barbeque, Baccalaureate, Senior Recognition night, and numerous graduation practices to prepare us for walking across the stage and tossing our caps. 

Jokes aside, so much of this year was unpredictable. The school year started with all-virtual instruction, shifted to a hybrid model, and ended with a fully in-person option. Every day was a different Schoology schedule and no one knew what to look forward to more than a day in advance. The last year has truly been an exercise in letting go of control and coping with uncertainty. 

Over quarantine, I watched far too many movies, trying to find some solace in fiction. I will watch anything with the late great Robin Williams, especially the Night of the Museum trilogy. One scene always sticks out to me, perhaps poignant for this time in our lives. At the end of the last movie, after all of the conflict is resolved, museum night watchman Ben Stiller’s character is aimless. Robin William’s Teddy Rosevelt character shares “It’s time for your next adventure,” to which Stiller replies “I have no idea what I’m going to do tomorrow.” William earnestly ends with “How exciting.”

The Class of 2021 is arguably too familiar with unprecedented times and unpredictability. But as we move on from Radnor, I hope these experiences will prepare us for all of our next adventures, whatever they will be. I know I will certainly look back gratefully for all of the relationships and lessons I gained at Radnor, as I hope you do as well. To the Radnor High School Class of 2021, thank you and congratulations! Go forth and do great things. I wish us all the best. 

Class of 2021 Next Steps:

Ben Adams
University of Pittsburg, Honors College
Jenny Addis
Penn State University
Elena Bader
Pace University
Katie Bader
Bloomsburg University
Bella Barnabei
West Virginia University
Thomas Barnhart
Syracuse University
Ali Bauer
Dartmouth College
Sam Beers
Purdue University
Chris Belz
Emory University
Sarah Bentz
Kutztown University
Quinn Bookbinder
Bucknell University
Ulysses Buzan
United States Naval Academy
Maya Casillas
University of Richmond
Patricia Castro
The University of Virginia
Anya Chan
Tufts University
Sam Chung
Pepperdine University
Avery Ciatto
The University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business
Sarah Conlan
Gettysburg College
Matthew De Vlieghere
Fudan University in Shanghai, 1-year program
Katie Deddens
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Jordan Dell
Auburn University
Lilah Demmy
Keene State College, Softball
Tori Dicarlo
United States Naval Academy, Lacrosse
Leontine Dixon
Northeastern University
Olivia Donigian
West Chester University
Heather Dougherty
University of Pittsburgh
Stellarose Emery
Gettysburg College
Malia Enderle
Merrimack College
Brian Engle
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Sheila Esgro
Lehigh University
Elizabeth Feulner
Boston College
Margo Flanagan
American University
Abby Fluck
University Cincinnati College, Conservatory of Music
Jami Fogel
University of Southern California
Conrad French
Temple University
Abbie Frost
University of Virginia
Henry Gallagher

Sophia Geralis
Butler University

Colorado State University
Emma Gibbons
West Chester University
Peter Gold
University of Pittsburgh
Anna Granson
Villanova University
Justin Green
Cornell University
Anne Griffin
Penn State University
Sam Guillaume
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Ryan Hamill 

Rory Harper
Loyola University Maryland

Smith College, Field Hockey
Emme Healy
West Virginia University
Jack Heery
Delaware Valley University, Soccer
Georgia Henderson
Purchase College
Ava Henry
College of Charleston
Lizzy Hirschler
Penn State University
Theresa Hughes
University of Southern California
Heather Hughes
Delaware County Community College
Brendan Hung
Harvard University
Abby Jansen
University of Virginia
Caleb Jaramillo
Syracuse University
Maddie Johnson
University of North Carolina, Rowing
Sumi Jung
Emory University
Ashley Kalan
University of Delaware, Honors College
Emma Kang
University of California, Berkeley
Emma Kirsch
University of Pittsburg
Ryan Klein
University of Florida
Ella Kloss
University of Vermont
Richa Kuklani
Georgetown University
Kyra Lee
Lehigh University
Soomin Lee
Boston University
Mohen Li
Georgia Institute of Technology
Patrick Lovenguth
University of Pittsburgh
Ashna Luthra
Florida State University
Jabari McKie
Penn State University
Sai Middle
University of California, San Diego
Matt Miller
Elizabethtown Honors College, Soccer
Megan Miller
University of Pittsburgh
Zana Moldavsky
Temple University
Leah Monty
Penn State Schreyer Honors College
Juan Pablo Moreland
University of Southern California
Kendall Mulligan
Northeastern University
Sarah Nelson
Princeton University
Zaiya Ngubeni
Northeastern University
Kodi Nixon
Temple University
Jane O’Grady
Wake Forest University
Grace Ohlin
Pennsylvania State University
Ryane Oswald
Boston College
Casey Ott
University of Richmond
Alex Paino
University of North Texas
Carlos Palma
Williamson College of the Trades
Noel Palma
Williamson College of the Trades, football
Elise Palmer
College of William & Mary, Lacrosse
Clark Piatt
University of Pittsburgh
Zoey Press
Lincoln University
Shane Rebane
Franklin and Marshall College, Baseball
Jackson Reid
Syracuse University
Ellie Rinehart
Loyola University Maryland Lacrosse
Lew Robinson
Neumann University, Basketball
Andrew Rosin
Amherst College
Hall Rubinstein
University of California, Los Angeles
Taelaun Rutherford
LaSalle University
Noor Saeed
Drexel University
Charlie Salinas
Swarthmore College
Chloe Sakowski
Colgate University, Rowing
Neil Sareen
Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Malak Sebti
Saint Joseph University
Lila Shieh
UC Santa Barbara
Sullivan Sims
Bucknell University
Carson Smith
Washington College, Lacrosse
Florence South
Temple University, Honors Program
Garrett Spillerman
Cornell University
Ava Stone
Bucknell University
Meghan Subak
Colgate University
Christina Suh
Georgetown University
Tova Tachau
University of Pennsylvania
Tyler Tornoe
Dickinson College, Golf
Elizabeth Toscano

Alex Trevisani
Cabrini University

University of South Carolina, Capstone Scholar
Arden Vaughan
Penn State University
Peter Vitale
Colgate University
Diana Vu
West Chester University
Sophie Wallace
Pace University
Maddie Waltman
Louisiana State University
Baylee Whitebread
Muhlenberg College
Lola Wilton
Boston University
Terrilyn Witmer
Syracuse University
Hunny Witthoeft
Penn State University, Schreyer Honors College
Samantha Worontzoff
DeSales University, Volleyball
Becca Yarnall
Elon University
Ellie Yarnall
Saint Joseph's University
Andrew Yurchak
University of Pittsburgh
Becca Zajac
Tufts University
Will Zamsky
Michigan State University
Helena Zuckerman
University of Vermont

*Students elected to share their post-Radnor plans. If you would like to be added to the list or make any changes to the list, please email Anne Griffin at [email protected] Congratulations, Class of 2021!