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Taipei American School Celebrates the Class of 2024

Taipei American School Celebrates the Class of 2024

On Saturday, June 1, parents, guardians, siblings, friends, and faculty gathered at Taipei American School for the graduation of the Class of 2024. The campus was decorated with flowers and photos by PTA volunteers, providing a beautiful backdrop for this important milestone in our students’ TAS journey. For 208 students, this day represented the culmination of their learning journey and, as Class Officers, Cedric Lau ‘24 and Junui Song ‘24 shared in their address, “the end of the beginning.” For 26 students, Taipei American School has been their academic home since Kindergarten A (11) or Kindergarten (15), making this day an especially emotional moment!  

The ceremony opened with music played by the Upper School Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. Ruth Lin. As Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance” filled the room, students and faculty filed in to begin the ceremony. Following a welcome from Ms. Becky Read, Upper School Principal, the seniors in the Opus vocal ensemble performed the “National Anthem of the Republic of China” and the “Star-Spangled Banner.”  

Ms. Evelyne Estey, Head of School, provided the opening remarks, drawing parallels between the strength and energy of Taiwan, with the next phase of life for our students. Ms. Estey emphasized that our students are truly ready for their next steps, “The education you have received at TAS, your ability to be self-directed learners, to seek out new information and perspectives, to think critically and creatively, and to make informed decisions have equipped you fully to tackle what's ahead.” She gave our soon-to-be graduates advice, encouraging them to dream big, embrace the new, and to understand that life is found in the ups and downs, it is not a linear experience. By focusing on gratitude and giving back, she said, each of us can foster the happiness, resilience, and well-being for ourselves and others. 

As attendees and students reflected on Ms. Estey’s words, our Upper School Orchestra and Opus singers performed “When the Light of Morning Breaks” by PINKZEBRA, followed by an arrangement of “Ebb Tide” by the Righteous Brothers, arranged by Cedric Lau ’24 and performed by the Opus seniors. Before they returned to their seats, they took a selfie with their classmates, a special moment and wonderful memory for the class! 

Then, Class Officers Cedric Lau, ’24 and Junui Song ’24 gave their address, focusing on the love and friendship between the Class of 2024, and emphasizing the strength of their relationships. They encouraged the students to turn to one another and take in the moment, prompting laughter and impromptu hugs! As Junui shared, “I wouldn’t call my friends “friends”, I say family instead. It doesn’t feel enough to describe the connection we have, the trust we have with each other. I love you all.” 

The end of Cedric and Junui’s address focused on gratitude, with intentional thanks shared with the faculty, staff, and students who contributed to the Class of 2024’s experience, as well as their parents, guardians, friends, and family, who supported our graduates along the way.

“The adults in our community make it a better place. Thank you to those who will stay at this school long after we graduate and those who are no longer with us. Please know you have changed us for the better forever.”

Junui and Cedric’s celebratory speech set the stage for the presentation of diplomas by Ms. Becky Read, Dr. Evelyn Chen, Associate Principal, and Dr. Brandon Maguire, Dean of Student Life. Families and friends applauded each student, whooping and cheering as each diploma was awarded.  

Once all 208 students had crossed the stage, our students moved their tassels across their caps, officially becoming our newest TAS alumni. Before tossing their caps, a surprise guest arrived: Tiberius the Tiger, in full regalia, arrived during Ms. Read’s explanation of the cap toss tradition. Tiberius led our students in the 1, 2, 3 count, and our newest graduates tossed their caps in a flurry of blue and gold streamers! 

Following this wonderful ceremony, families adjourned to the Upper School Commons and Cafeteria for a reception, tons of photos, and a jubilant afternoon together.  

We hope you enjoyed the graduation of the Class of 2024! Seniors, we’re so proud of you! Taipei American School will always be one of your academic homes, and we look forward to welcoming you back as alumni.