May 17 Ceremony Will Honor 2024 Palm Beach Central Graduates

Palm Beach Central High School’s Class of 2024 will be celebrated at the South Florida Fairgrounds Expo Center on Friday, May 17, starting at 8 a.m.

This will be the first PBCHS graduation ceremony under the guidance of Principal Reginald Myers, who is looking forward to celebrating each student as they cross the stage and walk into their futures.

“This is the proudest moment of being a high school principal, as it is what we have been working toward since their first day of school,” Myers said.

The school year went exceptionally well, he said, thanks to a team of educators and staff who are dedicated to ensuring students’ success and a positive high school experience. “The Class of 2024 consists of some of the brightest and most talented students in Palm Beach County, and that is something to get excited about,” Myers said. “This class not only cares about their academics, but they care about each other, and their community.”

He found their commitment to academic excellence, camaraderie and community inspiring, and their school spirit — shown through events such as Homecoming, BSU Spirit Week, Dance Marathon and Inclusion Day — unmatched.

The end of the school year for graduating seniors, he added, is always challenging, whether the focus is on college deadlines, balancing school and work, or preparing for final exams.

“What has been most impressive about the Class of 2024 is their determination to meet every one of those challenges head on,” Myers said.

The students have enjoyed school spirit activities, along with prom, grad bash and other special events, remaining focused and determined.

In less than a month, these Palm Beach Central students will walk across the graduation stage as they embark on the next phase of their lives.

“Our primary goal at Palm Beach Central High School on this day is to make sure we give our students, their families and our school community the best possible graduation ceremony that we can because they deserve that,” Myers said.

Leading the Class of 2024 will be valedictorian Ryan Snider and salutatorian Adam Ahmad.

Snider is looking forward to attending the United States Air Force Academy, where he plans on studying aeronautical and mechanical engineering, though he is considering astronautical engineering. Among his many accolades, Snider has published his first book, served as editor-in-chief of the literacy magazine, was the Class of 2024 National Honor Society vice president, spent two years on the varsity volleyball team, received Palm Beach Central’s Pathfinder for literature and earned a coveted appointment to the United States Air Force Academy.

When Snider started high school, he set the personal goal of being in the top 20 of the class. Snider and his twin brother, Reid, both set high academic goals for themselves. Reid will be attending the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“I had never really had any goal or intention of being valedictorian,” he said. “I just focused on work and focused on getting good grades and getting into a good college, but it never crossed my mind that I would be valedictorian.”

Their parents were thrilled that the brothers met their goals, surpassing all expectations. Snider encourages other students to stay focused, but also balanced.

Many of his classmates, he said, would stay up late and not get enough sleep, but his approach is to concentrate on the task at hand and not be shaken by distractions. Writing, he said, has been a big help.

“I’ve been a writer since elementary school,” he said. “It has just been an outlet… it has really helped me tell my story and build worlds and characters.”

As Snider prepares for graduation, he offers the following advice to students: “No matter how hard it gets, no matter what life throws at you, you can always keep moving forward,” he said. “Probably the most important thing is to have a solid foundation and to have a good group of friends around you who can support you and lift you up. Even when you can’t do it yourself, they will be there to support you. And I feel like that’s something that everyone needs.”

Before heading off to the Air Force Academy, Snider is looking forward to spending time with his family and friends before writing the next story of his life.

Always interested in airplanes, Snider offers one of his favorite quotes from Henry Ford to inspire other students: “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

Ahmad, the salutatorian, is looking forward to attending the University of Florida, where he will be studying biochemistry. Among many accolades, Ahmad has earned straight A grades and honor roll for his entire educational career, has taken 15 college-level courses, passed eight-dual enrollment classes, provided more than 100 hours of math tutoring, participated and led in Dance Marathon, earned his black belt in taekwondo, and has received certifications in Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD Modeling and Autodesk Revit.

“I just wanted to do my best, and I’m glad that it has gotten me to where I am,” he said, adding that his parents were very excited when he shared the news of being named salutatorian with them.

For students who hope to achieve top grades in their class, Ahmad suggests they try their best, because things will work out.

“You just want to have that confidence in yourself, but at the same time, you don’t want to be overconfident and not study or go into something not prepared,” he said. “You just want to be happy with yourself knowing that, however it comes out, you tried your best.”

After a 10th grade chemistry class, Ahmad knew that was his passion, and if he chooses, will set him on a strong path for medical school.

As for his fellow students, Ahmad is glad to have met everyone, stressing the importance of friends and a great support system, and, of course, his favorite quote from Steve Jobs: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.”