Citizen, Scholar, Steward

Congratulations to the Class of 2024!

Kentucky Country Day School’s 52nd Annual Commencement Exercises were held at the Brown Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, May 25, 2024. Graduating seniors received diplomas marking the completion of their academic career at KCD. Congratulations to our 68 new KCD Alumni Association members!
To begin the program, Senior Class Officers Ava Hurwitz and Hailey Hertzman addressed their families, teachers, and fellow classmates with a thoughtful reflection on their years at KCD. From Exploremore and Pine Mountain, to Senior Retreat and the connections built “taking a lap” through the Upper School halls—these graduates have blossomed into inspiring Citizens, Scholars, and Stewards who are more than prepared to take on the world beyond Springdale Road. 

Co-Valedictorians, Minhal Nazeer and Aria Mohammadi, followed with a beautiful speech reflecting on the unique make-up of their senior class, the paths that led them to this point, and the many people who have supported them and empowered them to dream big along the way.

“As a class, we are the living manifestation of all of our loved ones' efforts. Whether you’ve led your team to a state championship, directed your own theater production, or are graduating Cum Laude, all of our successes have been a direct result of others’ desires for us to succeed,” stated Minhal.  

Aria continued, “Regardless, we’re not trying to diminish the individual successes it took to get to this point. Your desire to be here, to get to this point, is indicative of the power of your determination, and for that we applaud you.”

Additional awards were then presented to seniors. Mr. Hank Alford presented the Chair’s Award—an award that is given to the seniors who have shown a marked development of academic interest, concern for the school, and moral leadership. This year’s recipients were Katie Coulter, Anya Sharma, and Katie Vonder Haar.

Acting Head of School, Adam Beckum then presented the Headmaster’s Award—an award that is given to the seniors who best exemplify the standards, attitude, and scholarship of Kentucky Country Day School. This year’s recipients were Aspen Caudill and Adam Hetman.

The Class of 2024 voted for a faculty member to speak at Commencement and this year’s chosen speaker was Ms. Rachel Kuffner. Ms. Kuffner joined KCD in 2018 as an Upper School English teacher. She has served as English department chair and Senior Class Sponsor. As a testament to the respect accorded by her fellow faculty, Ms. Kuffner received the Eric Davis Memorial Faculty Award in 2020, the Nancy Bowling Endowed Chair in English in 2021, and the Jason Bell HEART Award in 2023. Ms. Kuffner also received the 2023 Yearbook dedication. Ms. Kuffner is a gifted teacher, colleague, and friend, who is known for her warmth, enthusiasm, and compassion.

In her speech, Ms. Kuffner reflected on the importance of the “instructions” students have been given throughout their lives, and shared a few final tips from KCD faculty members that seniors should carry with them beyond KCD. 

An instruction from Lower School Music Teacher, Mrs. LuAnn Hayes, was to “be kind to others, be kind to the tools that help you do your work, be kind to yourself.” 

Middle School teacher and KCD parent, Mr. Matt Evans said to “...stay curious, never stop learning about the people you care about, your own self, a topic you feel passionate about, the whole world around you. Stay curious.” 

Mr. Apel from the Upper School said to “Do what is right, even if you are never acknowledged for doing the right thing, there’s a lot of peace in doing what’s right. Don’t do it for recognition or awards, but simply because it is the right thing to do.”

“Our final instructions are simple,” stated Ms. Kuffner. “ Look up, let go, stand strong, love people, love yourself, and don’t forget to think.”

Thank you to all our graduation speakers and organizers for making this such a special day for the Class of 2024 and the greater KCD community. Once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat!

4100 Springdale Road • Louisville, KY 40241 • (502) 423-0440 • Fax (502) 423-0445
Kentucky Country Day School is a private JK–12, coeducational school located on a spacious 80+ acre campus in Louisville, KY. KCD combines a rigorous academic program with a wide variety of athletic and extracurricular programs. Our outstanding faculty creates an intimate learning environment that is both challenging and supportive.