PHS celebrates Class of 2024 graduation

PHS celebrates family and teamwork at Class of 2024 graduation
Posted on 06/19/2024
This is the image for the news article titled PHS celebrates family and teamwork at Class of 2024 graduationPiscataway High School honored and celebrated the Class of 2024 on Tuesday, June 18, at an impressive 64th Annual Commencement Ceremony at Jersey Mike's Arena on the Rutgers University campus.

The 507 graduates finished their high school careers before thousands of friends, family members, and Piscataway educators in a grand celebration where the theme was support, family, and gratitude.

Raahim Hashmi, the senior student representative to the Board of Education, spoke to his classmates about taking care of themselves so they can change the world.

“You are the change maker of tomorrow, and you will create change just by consistently bettering yourself,” he said. “I hope that once you find the strength within yourself, you are able to stand for those who can’t stand for themselves. … Each of us has a role to play in making the world a little brighter, a little kinder. Whether it’s standing up for a friend in need, or speaking out against injustice anywhere, abroad or at home, our actions ripple outward, shaping the world around us.”

Senior Class President Amrita Subedar used humor to reflect on the difficult challenges the graduates overcame during their high school tenure.


“Freshman year, we were on Zoom because of a global pandemic, and we couldn’t hang out with friends, meet new people, or really go out at all. Wasn’t that so fun? Nooooo, not really,” she said. “How about coming back sophomore year with masks and social distancing when we were yearning for that normal high school experience but couldn’t quite get it. That was super fun, right? Noooo, not really either. I’m sorry to bring up these sad memories, but these challenges are what made us the powerful, resilient people we are today.”

board president giving out diploma

Board of Education President Shantell Cherry greeted the Class of 2024, many of whom she has known for years as they grew up with her son, Karon, who is one of the graduates.

“Each of you is on an individual journey into the next chapter of your life,” she said. “Piscataway High School was the learning pipeline to your future. You are now stepping out into the world prepared and ready. Your best days are ahead of you. Don’t be afraid to dream big, bet on yourself, but remember in order for those dreams to become a reality, you have to work hard.”

graduates with diplomas

The night was hosted by Assistant Principal Yashmine Cooper, who stood on a stage packed with the Board of Education, district administrators, and special guests.

“Today we gather not just to celebrate achievements, but to embrace the boundless possibilities ahead,” Cooper said in her opening remarks. “As we stand on the cusp of this new chapter, let us reflect on what brought us here and more vitally, envision where we are headed. … So I challenge you tonight: Dream big!”

administrators watching video

Superintendent Dr. Frank Ranelli focused his short speech on thanking parents, guardians, and family members of their support of the graduates.

“Over the past few months, we asked any member of the senior class to record a short clip saying thank you to their family. The response was so positive and overwhelming, we had over 100 students participate. … So as much as I want to say thank you, no one can do it better than you own children.”

graduates watching video

This started a five-minute emotional video on the large display screens above the floor of Jersey Mike’s Arena, showing some of the Class of 2024 thanking their families and riveting the audience and graduates to the screen. The full 19-minute video showing all the seniors who participated can be seen on the district’s YouTube channel.

Principal Chris Baldassano talked to the graduates about the hurdles they will face in the years ahead.

“What matters is that we accept those challenges and that we embrace our inner strength, because it’s within all of us,” he said. “Let go of the uncertainty, control what you can control, and rely on your support system.”


Standing on a stage with all the district’s other principals, from preschool to middle school, Baldessano told the graduates to “go forth with the support of the Piscataway family,” calling out all the schools they attended through the years.

“From Children’s Corner to Randolphville, from Grandview to Eisenhower, from Knollwood to Arbor and King, from Conackamack to Schor and Quibbletown, knowing that once a Chief, always a Chief.”

graduates giving thumbs up