Oak Knoll Celebrates 60 Young Women of Promise and Purpose During 94th Annual Commencement

Sixty Oak Knoll students graduated from the all-girls’ Upper School on Sunday, June 11, 2023, during a beautiful outdoor ceremony attended by family, friends, faculty, and staff at the school’s Summit campus.

Head of School Jennifer G. Landis and Board of Trustees Chair Stephen Loughrey distributed diplomas to students and Clara O’Mara ’23, Class of 2023 Valedictorian, delivered the class address.

“As we gather to celebrate our class as we transition into the next stage of our lives, I know all of you here today look over at the risers and see what I see — a group of unique, capable women who are ready to change the world for the better,” said O’Mara, of Basking Ridge. “We are scholars, we are athletes, we are artists and performers, we are compassionate activists and community volunteers, and we are ready for all that comes next thanks to our years at Oak Knoll.”

Following the valedictory address, Ashley Monique Simpson Esq. ’03, a member of the new Board of Trustees of the Holy Child Network of Schools and Senior Trial Attorney for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, delivered the graduation address and offered wisdom to the Class of 2023.

She introduced the gospel descriptor “pearl of great price” from Matthew 13:45-46 and said, “I hope that as you leave Oak Knoll, that you remember how treasured you are. To our God, to this community, to your family and friends. You are the pearls of great price that Jesus spoke of in that parable. But I won’t stop there with this metaphor. Pearls are made all the more valuable, stronger, when surrounded by others. Like the strings of pearls, I see many of you chose to wear today, that I chose to wear today, remember that together you can derive strength. Pearls, you are stronger together, as a community. Maintain your connection. Go further to expand that connection to other pearls, members of the other Holy Child schools, here and abroad. Together you can do magnificent things. And we cannot wait to see, and help you build, your continued legacy in this world.”

Congratulations, Class of 2023!