First class of Liberty Redhawks graduates

Students toss their caps at the end of the graduation ceremony.

The first Class of Liberty Redhawks flew the nest Friday, June 28, with 117 students recognized during the 127th annual commencement ceremony.

The evening, held on the high school football field, carried themes of community and resilience.

“Look around you. You are not merely a group of individuals sharing the same space; you are a community. A community that has laughed together, cried together, persevered through hybrid learning together, and most importantly, triumphed together,” Superintendent Dr. Patrick Sullivan said.

There were several challenges for the Class of 2024, starting with the COVID pandemic and including the loss of a classmate, Javon Islam, who passed away in May 2023.

“Despite all the difficulties we faced, the classmates surrounding you right now are the people who navigated through these years alongside you,” Class President Zoe Kip said. “Now we stand together, one last time, preparing for our futures with memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime.”

And it is important to cherish those memories and also take time to make new ones, Salutatorian Jumana Abu Al Ghanam said.

“I encourage all those here today to not only work hard, but also have fun,” she said. “Our futures don’t just consist of mind-numbing work, but new memories we will make when we find ourselves and enjoy our lives.”

But the choices graduates make and how they respond will decide their futures, LHS Principal Derek Adams said. “Challenges will continue, but instead of letting life happen to you, choose your challenges and let your struggles become your strengths.”

Valedictorian Benjamin Visconti encouraged his classmates to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others. “Motivate and inspire others to make their own legacy,” he said as he quoted Mother Teresa: “‘I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.’

“So I stress to all of you, go out and make your own ripples,” he said, “make our world brighter, one stone at a time.”

But no matter where those ripples are made, Liberty will forever be home for the graduates, Board of Education President Matthew DeWitt said. Board President Matthew DeWitt:

“To the Class of 2024, This is not the end, this is the beginning. I hope your travels take you all around this country and all around the world but remember you’ll always have a place in Liberty and within this community.”

  • A student speaks at a podium as other graduates stand

The full ceremony and speeches can be seen on our livestream at or on YouTube: