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Don’t Blink or You Could Miss Something

Don’t Blink or You Could Miss Something
Rudy Brandl

Most people who work in education agree that the breaks from school pass very quickly. Too quickly. After two-plus months of winter, albeit a mild and somewhat uneventful one by New Jersey weather standards, yet another Spring Break has flown by and ushered in the final flurry of events in the 2022-2023 school year. 

In just over two months, when that same recent span of winter school time has passed, our seniors in the Class of 2023 will be graduating from The Wardlaw+Hartridge School. Our 140th Commencement Ceremony will be held on Friday, June 9, and the constant buzz of activity will make that day arrive more quickly than it would during a recess from school.

While there are many more events and activities that could be mentioned, I will highlight my selections for the top 10, in no particular ranking order but listed chronologically, on the upcoming school calendar. Please refer to the school website calendar here for times and locations.

Spring Music Recital (April 16) – This annual event showcases many of our finest and most talented instrumental and vocal performers. It’s now open to students in grades 4-12 and the audience is often surprised by the talent level of musicians of all ages.

Upper School Capstone (April 18-19) – Under the guidance of humanities teacher Mr. Jason Murphy, our seniors share thought-provoking presentations on a variety of global impact topics. This scholarly level of research is one of the many ways W+H prepares its students for the future.

WHPA Spring Gala (April 29) – Our dedicated Parents’ Association hosts its signature “fun” raiser, a wonderful, festive evening for the W+H community of parents, faculty, alumni and friends. This year’s red carpet theme will have guests dressed to impress. 

Jim Howard Golf Classic (May 16) – Returning for the second straight year after a long hiatus, this community event is now named for the legendary W+H golf coach. The golf outing was a big hit with parents and alumni last year and this year’s early buzz signals continued growth.

Indie Film Festival and Art Show (May 19) – Students display their creativity and artistic ability in different forms, beyond filmmaking as this event now includes a celebration of the visual arts. Dressed in formal attire, the students will again enjoy a mocktail hour and red carpet walk to the Berry Performing Arts Center. 

Cookin’ Cabaret (May 25) – This annual treat has brought down the house in a variety of locations over the years including the amphitheater and AP Room, but has now been moved to our beautiful Berry Performing Arts Center. The high quality of our performing artists will make this year’s show another classic.

Middle School Shakespeare Festival (May 26) – This long-standing tradition, appropriately staged both indoors and outdoors last year, includes participation from all sixth, seventh and eighth graders. They all play a role in the staging of these performances.

Lower School Field Day (May 26) – There are few things more precious than watching children at play, and this wonderful tradition brings the community together. Under the leadership of Mr. Lee Nicholls and his physical education staff, the young students, their parents and teachers enjoy the camaraderie and spirit of this event every year. 

Rams Recognition Night (May 31) – There will be much to celebrate in the world of W+H athletics at this year-ending event, where Upper School teams and their individual athletes and coaches are honored for their achievements. New athletic director Mike Romeo will host his first RRN and is likely to add a few new features.

Senior Farewell Dinner (June 5) – Held annually on the Monday evening before Commencement, this event features performances, speeches and toasts by our seniors, who also receive awards for excellence in academics, athletics, the arts and service. The retrospective video at the conclusion always brings laughs and a few tears.