Saying Goodbye to the Class of 2022

Includes Interviews with Graduating Seniors Shayna Diamond-Reivich, Logan Ebner, Ishika Vyas, and Aiden Kaliner

Molly Bluestein, Staff Writer


Graduating high school is a big moment in someone’s life, whether they are a first generation high school graduate, or simply celebrating the hard work that went into getting to this undeniably huge milestone. However, this memorable occasion typically sparks the question: what now? What comes next? For some, the answer may be going to college, others may be starting to work, and some may simply have the goal of moving out.  


I interviewed several Harriton seniors to learn their thoughts about graduating and their overall experience during the past few months of mask-optional school. I also asked them about their senior project, which seniors complete outside of school during the month of May, and which can be anything they are passionate about, such as shadowing a teacher, interning at a job, or doing an independent study. The students chosen from this article are all very involved in the Harriton community, whether through clubs, sports, or the art community. 


First, Shayna Diamond-Reivich is the Vice President of Student Council as well as an editor of the Yearbook and the Class of 2022 Planning Committee Chair. When asked about her role in the community, she said, “I loved my time in these clubs because they’ve allowed me to grow as a leader, and make many new friends along the way.” Shayna has taken advantage of what Harriton has to offer and has enjoyed her experience here. The next student interviewed was Logan Ebner. Like Shayna, Logan is an editor of the Yearbook and a Student Council officer, serving as Secretary. In addition, he founded Starfish Club, is a peer mentor, and is on the cross country team, which provides a perspective on graduating as a student athlete. The third person interviewed was Ishika Vyas, who has similarly been very active in the Harriton community. Ishika is an executive editor of The Banner, an officer of the Medical Club, a member of National Honors Society, and a committee head for the Principal’s Advisory Board. Additionally, she is a founder and co-officer of HHS Breathe, a social activism club discussing race and equity at Harriton and on the Mainline. Finally, Aiden Kaliner, who is involved in Harriton’s artistic community, and has participated in HTC since freshman year–both on and off stage. Aiden spends a lot of his time focusing on acting as well as being a head of the Publicity Department and a critic on the Cappies team. He is involved with other clubs here and there, but HTC has been a staple throughout his time at Harriton. 


The Harriton Banner: What are you doing for your senior project?


Shayna Diamond-Reivich: I will be getting a Fitbit and tracking my steps and sleep patterns, as well as my energy levels while setting goals for how many steps a day I need to get. For the first week 10,000 steps a day, the second week 15,000 and the final week 20,000. I’ll be journaling and recording the effects of my project on my mental and physical health as I go!


Logan Ebner: I am going to shadow different dental specialists including a dentist, orthodontist, oral surgeon, and endodontist. My culminating project will answer my essential question: What does it take to thrive in the lives of different dental specialists? I am doing this in order to help me gather information about a future career in medicine.


Ishika Vyas: I am planning to explore equity and equality between West Philadelphia and the Mainline through political and activist lenses to understand an individual’s impact in decreasing existing gaps. Currently, I am working on a political campaign for the Pennsylvania State Senate and I am hoping to get involved in a nonprofit servicing the West Philadelphia region. 


Aiden Kaliner: I am in IB, so my senior project was the Extended Essay and CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) requirement. 


THB: What are your post-high school plans?


SDR: After high school I will be attending Tulane University and majoring in Public Health!


LE: I am planning to go to college and major in Chemistry. Still waiting to hear back from more colleges in order to make a decision.


IV: Post high school, I am planning to major in either neuroscience or biochemistry on the premedical track. 


AK: Next year, I will be attending Northwestern University to study theater. 


THB: How do you feel about graduating?


SDR: Graduating is a very weird feeling. I’m super excited for college and living in a new place but also sad to leave my friends and family in a few months. It feels like yesterday I was a freshman and I don’t know how the time flew by this fast. I’m so lucky to have met such great people along the way and made friendships that will last a lifetime.


LE: I am mostly excited about graduating knowing that I had a great high school experience. At the same time it will be difficult leaving the people and places I have enjoyed for so many years! I can’t wait to see where everyone’s potential leads them! It is definitely a time of many mixed feelings.


IV: Excited but also a bit nostalgic. I am excited to go on to college and seek out new experiences and opportunities, but I am definitely nostalgic about the many cherished memories I’ve had at Harriton with teachers, staff, and friends. 


AK: The prospect of graduating is bittersweet. Although I am sad to leave friends, family, and activities behind, I am looking forward to the future and the opportunity to experience something new. 


THB: If you had to describe your senior year in one word, what would it be and why?


SDR: Present- This year I made the decision to always show up. Losing a year of high school from COVID was very hard, therefore I took every opportunity this year that I could to do anything out of my comfort zone or just to try something new. Whether it was going to a sporting event, fundraiser, or simply visiting teachers, I tried my best to engage in every moment. This is definitely a mindset I want to stick with as I move forward in my life!


LE: My one word to describe senior year would be amazing!! After years of so much time alone and disappointment I think that everyone has been more excited and passionate about the things they do. This has made our senior year very exciting and fun!


IV: Invigorating. We’ve all been so lucky to have a more normal year compared to the seniors who have graduated in the past 2 years. I have definitely not taken events like Senior Sunrise, Senior Day, and Senior Prom for granted! I am so grateful to our administration and class sponsors who made these events happen and gave us all an opportunity to end our year with a bang especially with the stressful pandemic experience we have had. 


AK: My word is fulfilling. 


THB: How did you feel about having the end/second half of your senior year be mask-optional?


SDR: I am very glad that the second half of senior year is mask optional. It’s so nice to finally be able to smile at people in the halls and see everyone’s full faces again. It feels like normalcy again which I think was much needed for everyone. It’s a great ending to my senior year!


LE: I have enjoyed feeling like this year is a more ‘normal’ experience with no masks. I am glad the Lower Merion School District was able to make a safe option in making masks optional.


IV: Initially, it felt a bit odd since it came as an abrupt change. Since then, I have grown indifferent to it. I have chosen to continue wearing my mask through the end of the school year since I live with a family member who is immunocompromised, but I don’t feel any particular way about the mask-optional status. I just hope people continue to stay vigilant and stay home if they suspect they may have the virus!


AK: Personally, I have found that the mask-optional policy improved my senior year experience. Since the change, I have had more opportunities to interact with teachers and connect with my peers. Although I still do wear my mask at times, I find that the option to choose when I would like to wear one and not has been refreshing.


The seniors have appreciated and loved their final year at Harriton, and they all are excited to explore their passions during their senior project and beyond graduation. We wish them good luck on their future endeavors, and they will forever be a part of the Harriton community!