Riverside Prep celebrates Class of 2024 during two days of ceremonies

Mitch Clarke
Riverside Preparatory Academy celebrated the Class of 2024 on May 17-18 during two days of Commencement ceremonies on the historic campus.
The events began Friday night with a military parade in the John L. Beaver Fieldhouse, and it continued with the Silver Taps ceremony on McLendon Quadrangle. Following a reading of the names of alumni who died during the past year, Echo Taps – the playing of two buglers in echo fashion – was performed.
The weekend ended with the Commencement ceremony Saturday at McLendon Quadrangle, where students heard an inspiring commencement address from media executive Andrew G. Temple, a 1989 Riverside graduate, before receiving their diplomas.
"Mr. Temple often mentions the importance of preparedness, self-discipline, and having a good attitude as qualities learned at Riverside that helped prepare him for his career," Riverside's president, COL(R) Stanley Preczewski, Ph.D., said. "He also mentions his desire to help others was important to him as a leader at Riverside. It is this very attitude of selfless service that employers are looking for today. These soft skills are not universally taught in most schools, but they are an important part of the leadership curriculum at Riverside."
The academy's valedictorian, C/MAJ Ethan Hassell Rather of Birmingham, Alabama, and the salutatorian, C/CPT Leo Zeng of Beijing, China, were recognized on Friday night.
Several prestigious awards were announced during the ceremonies. Cadet Emiliano Israel Navarro Miguel of Mexico was named Outstanding International Cadet. Cadet Brady Scott Kriegel was awarded the RMA Exceptional Scholarship Medal and Cadet Kolaiah Asher Newkirk was awarded the Sandy Beaver Medal of General Excellence, named in honor of the man who was Riverside's president for more than a half century, from 1913 to 1969.
In his speech, Temple, chief operating officer of Allen Media Group, which owns television stations, cable networks and television and movie production studios, told cadets how his time at Riverside shaped his life.
"The indelible mark that Riverside has instilled in me, the discipline and perseverance, has sustained me … and given me the confidence to endure." Temple said. "I am positive that your experiences here will lift you up in times where you will need reassurance and self-reliance to accomplish your mission."
He said this year's graduates will likely feel the same way about Riverside one day.
"Riverside, for me, was the greatest thing that ever happened to me," Temple said. "I was deeply inspired by our coaches, teachers, and administrators, all of whom shaped and guided me in ways that I will never fully be able to express. I am forever grateful to them and others."
The Riverside Class of 2024 is among our very best. All of this year’s graduates have been accepted by more than 60 colleges and universities with almost $3 million in scholarship awards. That’s an average of nearly $90,000 per college-bound student.
Members of Riverside Prep's Class of 2024 are:
Dwight Maurice Barnes, Senoia, Georgia; Axiel Daniel Bock, Lawrenceville, Georgia; Josh Lucas Bozeman, Katy, Texas; Guillermo Andres Castillo Asensio, Guatemala; Zaden Andrew Cavanaugh-McAdoo, Silver Spring, Maryland; Kilel Cleaves-Smith, Fayetteville, Georgia; Andrew Nicolas DiPietre, Peachtree City, Georgia; Dante Christian Egizio, Lula, Georgia; Rodrigo Eljure Coral, Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico; Jalen Allen Freeman, Suwanee, Georgia; Matthew James Griffin, Suwanee, Georgia; Cole Hackney, Dacula, Georgia; Tristan Eynon Hague-Smith, Cottonwood Heights, Utah; Jake Riley Harrington, Cumming, Georgia; Brady Scott Kriegel, Braselton, Georgia; Armand William La Douceur, Gainesville, Georgia; Nguyen T. Le, Da Nang, Vietnam; Chenhui Li, Atlanta, Georgia; Adrian Malvaez, Buford, Georgia; John Taylor Martin, Decatur, Georgia; Erwin Isaiah Mendoza, Suwanee, Georgia; Emiliano Israel Navarro Miguel, Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico; Nathan Wadjama Modiset, Smyrna, Georgia; Kolaiah Asher Newkirk, Cumming, Georgia; Jackson Henry Orso, Charlotte, North Carolina; James Andrew Patterson, Forsyth, Georgia; Charlie Sumner Pierce, Fayetteville, Georgia; Ethan Hassell Rather, Birmingham, Alabama; Alan Michael Roberts, Buford, Georgia; Ethan Sun, Atlanta, Georgia; Aedan Ryan Tilson, Hoschton, Georgia; Ivan Jacob Choat Walker, Brentwood, Tennessee; Sulyman Yakubu Daura, Kaduna, Nigeria; Leo Zeng, Beijing, China; Anuar Zhaukhanov, Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan.
    • Cadets throw their caps into the air at the end of Commencement.

    • Andrew Temple delivers the Commencement Address.

    • Dean Todd Henry handed out diplomas at Commencement.

    • Two cadets hug following the Ceremony.

    • The playing.