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2023-24 School Year Begins With Cooler Weather, Smiling Faces


A grid of photos showing students on the first day of school

The first day of school for 2023-24 was filled with excitement, energy and enthusiasm. Gathering along the campus green in the (thankfully much cooler) August morning, old friends expressed happiness to be back together, and new friends shared in the fun of Ravenscroft’s opening-of-school traditions.

The day began early for the Class of 2024, who started what they hope will be a new tradition of gathering on the soccer field to watch the sun come up on their final first day of school here. Wearing senior T-shirts — many newly tie-dyed — and other festive items, the seniors then enjoyed breakfast in Holding Circle courtesy of the Parents’ Association’s 12th-grade parent volunteers before heading over to the bell tower for their class photo. Seniors who are lifers also had their group photo taken on Izzy’s Playground at the Lower School.

Soon, the campus green began to fill with students in PreK-11th grade in preparation for the senior parade. With the youngest Ravens holding signs and waving pompoms to cheer them on, members of the Class of 2024 made their way from Holding Circle to the Upper School, joining their fellow students for the ceremonial raising of the flag to officially open the school year. 

Sanya Firozvi ’24 rang the bell to call the school to the gathering. Head of School Doreen Kelly welcomed everyone to the gathering and shared a back-to-school prayer from the Rev. Carrie Schofield-Broadbent of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York.

The Presentation of Colors was begun by Lower School students Leah Goodrich ’31 and Santana Murphy ’31. They handed the flag to Middle School SGA co-presidents Wyatt Kenady ’28 and Ashvik Poli ’28, who passed it to senior class officers Nick Gillespie ’24 and Ariana Shirak ’24. As facilities staff raised the flag, members of the Upper School Wind Ensemble and the Upper School Concert Choir led the assembly in singing “Star-Spangled Banner.” 

A grid of photos showing students on the first day of school

SGA vice president Jackson Rein ’24 then led the group in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and president Anna Haywood ’24 welcomed both her classmates and the entire school community to the new school year. 

Kelly shared words of encouragement and celebration for the Class of 2024:

As seniors, you carry the weight of leadership and the responsibility of setting an example for the younger members of our community. Look around you. Many, many eyes are watching you this year. Your actions, attitudes and aspirations will shape Ravenscroft culture and inspire those behind you to model and follow in your footsteps. It is not a responsibility to take lightly.

So have a great year. Embrace challenges with courage, celebrate victories with humility and keep your curiosity and thirst for knowledge alive. As leaders of the school, you represent the best that we have to offer, and we all look forward to celebrating the joys of this senior year with you! 

Alumni Engagement Officer Emma Dement ’16 then presented Jackson and Anna with the senior class banner.

After Kelly dismissed the assembly, Ravens across all three divisions returned to their classrooms to settle in for the rest of their day — reminded, as Anna Haywood said in her remarks, that they have 170 school days this year to make the most of everything Ravenscroft has to offer.