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Graduation of the Class of 2023
Katherine Salz '24

Branson welcomed students, seniors, and their families to a heart-felt graduation ceremony on June 7, 2023, awarding diplomas and recognizing the hard work and achievement of the Class of 2023.

graduation caps

Class of 2023 decorated their graduation caps in the style of their future colleges! (Photo credit: Wedge Creative)


On a beautiful Tuesday afternoon, Branson’s 103rd class members descended down the outdoor seating steps toward Prize Day Field to the tune of “I’ll Be Seeing You” (performed by Thayer Jacobs '23) and the ceremony began. Head of School Chris Mazzola spoke to the audience about how the poem, “The Dash” by Linda Ellis speaks to the transition of graduating high school and the experiences the Class of 2023 is embarking on. 

“As I look at you, the Class of 2023, I have one hundred percent confidence that you will help us to build a much better normal,” Mazzola said. “You are bright and committed and principled, and I hope you are walking out of this school confident that you can take on any challenge and create the life you want for yourself.”

Ben Boas ’23 and Sophie Liu ’23 also addressed the audience.

Boas remarked how small yet mighty his class is, resolving, “I never thought a class of 72 could feel so large and encompassing, but my classmates made up for our lack of numbers with an excess of spirit. That spirit is what makes me truly excited to come to school every day; seeing how our class brings positive energy to everyone and everything makes me grateful to be part of this community."

student speaking at graduation

Ben Boas addresses Branson students, faculty, and the Class of 2023 graduates and their families. (Photo credit: Wedge Creative).

Liu reflected on the challenge of balancing living in the present, while also holding space for the future. “It’s that choice between going to a game or staying home and doing homework. Hanging out with your friends or starting your essay due the next day. Although there isn’t really a wrong answer to those scenarios, the different decisions I’ve made throughout the year have taught me many important life lessons."

graduation speaker

Sophie Liu speaking to the Branson community. (Photo credit: Wedge Creative)

Shail Belani ‘23 and Cole Nadershahi ‘23 then presented the Mount Tamalpais School Award to Gisella Petrone. The faculty award recognized her contributions to the development of the senior class.

Senior Class Presidents Eva Lacy and Will Schuler finished by reading the poems, “The Dash” by Linda Ellis and “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann, as a representation of their journeys at Branson. 

At the conclusion of the ceremony, seniors walked up to the podium one by one to receive their diplomas, as their families cheered. 

gisella petrone

Senior Class Dean Gisella Petrone accepting the Mount Tamalpias Award. (Photo Credits: Wedge Creative).

That evening, seniors also attended the Safe & Sober Grad Night to celebrate their accomplishments in their final gathering together as a class. 

Congratulations to our Class of 2023 graduates. We wish you well on your next adventures, and you will always have a home here at Branson! 

graduation throwing caps

See the complete graduation photo gallery.