WHS To Celebrate 659 In Class Of 2024 At Graduation May 20

At 8 a.m. on Monday, May 20, Wellington High School’s Class of 2024 will filter into their seats at the South Florida Fairgrounds for their graduation ceremony, as they prepare to cross the stage and leave their high school careers behind.

“I am looking forward to celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2024 and witnessing their transition to the next chapter of their lives,” Principal Cara Hayden said. “It will be a moment of pride and joy for our entire school community.”

Hayden, who has her own twins graduating this year, has been impressed by the students. “The Class of 2024 is special to me because of their tenacity and determination,” she said. “They have navigated through unprecedented circumstances with grace and maturity, showcasing their potential for future success.”

The students and staff, she said, have overcome various obstacles, overcoming many challenges.

“Our students and staff have demonstrated remarkable resilience, professionalism and adaptability,” Hayden said. “I am proud to say that I truly do work at the best school in Palm Beach County, with incredible support from the community.”

The growth and perseverance that she has seen from the Class of 2024 has been inspiring; they’ve thrived through remote learning, social disruption and personal hardships, growing and strengthening friendships along the way.

Valedictorian Sarah Lizarazo Baez and Salutatorian Ewa Tryniszewski will lead the class through graduation, sharing insightful thoughts with their fellow students.

“We are so excited that Sarah and Ewa are our valedictorian and salutatorian,” Hayden said. “They are both amazing scholars and have balanced extracurriculars with their academics. They both have Bright Futures, and we are incredibly proud to have them represent Wellington High School.”

Lizarazo Baez, while excited to be first in the class, wasn’t surprised; she had maintained the same rank since her sophomore year. “It wasn’t something that I was intending on having happen, but then it did,” she said. “So, I just wanted to keep that going and see if I was actually able to finish high school with that.”

When Hayden and others came into her classroom to share the news, Lizarazo Baez was caught off guard, proud and excited. Her parents were also proud of her dedication and hard work.

“I would say to other students, if that’s something they really want, then by all means go for it,” she said. “But I don’t think that it’s the most important thing. I don’t think that they should drain themselves in trying to pursue a high rank, because if they’re looking to go to a good college, that’s not all you need. And it can be very stressful, and there’s so much pressure to have in your head.”

Lizarazo Baez wanted to get good grades to set herself up for success in the future, but she did not want to become overly stressed about grades.

At the University of Florida, she will be studying psychology in the behavioral and cognitive neuroscience track, with the eventual goal of attending medical school. Her inspiration comes from the kind doctors she encountered as a young child in Puerto Rico. “I just remember feeling safe when I went there,” she said. “I want to be that person who provides that safe space for other children.”

Over the next few months, Lizarazo Baez is looking forward to getting ready for school, learning about internship opportunities, and forging her path forward toward medical school.

One of her favorite quotes, which she keeps in mind and hopes will inspire others, is from Taylor Swift: “No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.”

Tryniszewski and her family were excited and proud to learn that she had secured the title of salutatorian for the Class of 2024. Her advice for other high-achieving students is to not worry too much about their class rank.

“Obviously people care about that but be more worried about the actual academics of it all, and learning and taking in that knowledge, because it is very competitive, and the difference between the top 10 is so small that as long as you’re doing well, and you’re doing it for the right reasons, you will rank high,” Tryniszewski said. “As long as you care about learning and getting good grades because you genuinely enjoy learning these subjects, and you’re curious, and you have an academic hunger, then you will do well no matter what. And I think that’s my best tip for getting success and ranking high, because if you’re just doing it for the rank, you won’t succeed, because that’s all the motivation there is to it.”

Instead, she suggests students ask themselves where they’re planning on going to school.

Tryniszewski will be attending Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., to study international political economy, which combines her interests seamlessly, providing the best of both international relations and economics.

Over the next few months, she’s looking forward to attending the speech and debate nationals, visiting family in Poland, and then starting the next chapter in her life.

Tryniszewski’s high school accomplishments include: National Congressional Debate Champion in CDI league; two-time state qualifier in Public Forum Debate; AICE diploma; WHS Pathfinder Nominee in Forensics; and earning 300-plus community service hours.

Her favorite quote for students to reflect upon? “It is what it is.”

For the parents, friends and family who can’t attend the graduation ceremony, it will be streaming live at www.palmbeachschools.org.

“I would like to extend my gratitude to the students, parents, teachers and staff who have contributed to the success of the Class of 2024,” Hayden said. “Their collective efforts have made this academic year memorable and impactful.”