News at Buckley

Class of 2020 Celebration

Last year, the pandemic put an abrupt stop to high school graduation celebrations and important milestones. 
On August 13, members and families of the Class of 2020 gathered at the CCA to celebrate with speeches from faculty, the 2020 class president, and valedictorian. 
The Class of 2020 selected science teacher Dan Kelleher to deliver the faculty speech, which included memories, a pop-quiz, and inspiring words. “Kell” said his hope for the class of 2020 is to “take advantage of higher education, become informed voters, and save the environment.”
We caught up with a few alumni about their favorite memories at Buckley and how they’re impacting the world.
Ryan Halperin, Buckley Student Council president
Q: What are you up to now? 
A: I’m currently a student at the University of Michigan. Go blue! I was able to attend in person last semester despite COVID, which is great, and I’m currently a dual-major in computer science and psychology. This summer, I taught at iD Tech where I worked with students to teach python and java coding languages. I also participated in a Minecraft camp where I taught kids how to build in Minecraft. 
Q: What is your favorite memory from your time at Buckley? 
A: I really did love my time here. My favorite memory would have to be taking the early bus every morning with my friends during senior year, going to the senior lounge to play ping-pong, and enjoying each other’s company. If COVID has taught us anything it’s that you should not take the small, pre-mask interactions with your friends for granted.
Alyssa Wagner, former president of the Black Student Union 
Q: What are you up to now? 
A: I just finished my first year on campus at Harvard and I’ve been taking classes at MIT for the Air Force ROTC program. I am studying East Asian studies and Economics. So I hope to [work] in the U.S.-China relations or a state department in the future. I spent this summer working in D.C. at McKinsey & Company, a consulting firm, as a summer business analyst.
Q: What is your favorite memory from your time at Buckley? 
A: It’s hard to pick just one memory. If I had to, it would be Model UN. I was Vice President of Model UN. When I joined in freshman year, I was nervous to go on the trip and I wasn’t sure if it would be for me. I ended up becoming friends with [everyone] and really starting to feel comfortable with talking to people outside of my circle. For the next four years, all of us went on the same trip and had a great time. 
Sara Broukhim, former Editor-in-Chief of the Student Voice 
Q: What are you up to now? 
A: I am going into my second year at UCLA. Right now, I am pursuing degrees in political science and psychology. I am in a lot of organizations on campus. To name a few, Hillel, student government, psych journals, and more. I am trying to do as much as I can, meet as many people, and enjoy my youth.
Q: What is your favorite memory from your time at Buckley? 
A: My favorite memories are all of the conversations I had. We were in a horrible time [because of the pandemic], but what was interesting about the pandemic is when I talked to people, it made me realize what is important. The friends I made here and the relationships I built in the community are really special. It’s hard to pinpoint one. We’ve had a lot of laughs and shenanigans go on. The pandemic puts us in a test zone where the people you’re connecting with now are the people who are going to be in your life for a long time. 
Jonah Stern, music & theatre
Q: What are you up to now? 
A: Right now, I am working for an organization called The Borgen Project, a Congressional lobbyist group. I am writing for a magazine they publish that focuses on issues related to global poverty. 
Q: What is your favorite memory from your time at Buckley? 
A: Probably doing Mamma Mia! the musical because of the show itself and because that’s when I met all of my best friends. I’ll never forget the theatre people. They are my best friends. 
Jack Barrett, robotics team 
Q: What are you up to now? 
A: In a couple of weeks, I am starting my first year at Claremont McKenna College where I plan to pursue a degree that involves environmental policy. I spent the last year with the California Conservation Corps, a conservation service program. During the fire season, I worked with firefighters on fire lines—you hike into where fires are and cut trails in the dirt to stop the spread ofthe flames. It was really fun, but intense. I definitely enjoyed it. I used the money from the program to go on a road trip with a friend who also completed the firefighting program.
Q: What is your favorite memory from your time at Buckley? 
A: During spirit week, our class did a Dragon Ball Z themed entrance and we had two friends act out the entrance scene. They went a little off script, but it was awesome to watch, and it had the same ending. We lost the theme entrance, but it was really, really fun to participate in as a class. 
Brayden Stark, Class of 2020 Valedictorian 
Q: What are you up to now? 
A: I attend ​​Carleton College in Minnesota and play on the baseball team. This past summer, I worked as an aquatic invasive species specialist for the Department of Natural Resources and State Parks in Utah where I focused on preventing cross-contamination of aquatic invasive species between lakes.
Q: What is your favorite memory from your time at Buckley? 
A: My favorite memory was definitely the time spent with my friends on the baseball team, going to practice every day,  and playing games in the spring. There are a lot of great memories up on Gilley Field and in the clubhouse. 
It was great to catch up with some of our newest alumni and hear about the way they are impacting the world. Good luck class of 2020! 

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