Harker Heights Celebrates Class of 2024 Graduation

HHHS 2024 valedictorian Hanah KimHHHS 2024 salutatorian Serenity HoweryMarking the end of high school, Harker Heights High School seniors took a quick, wistful glance back at four years of memories and experience, then made their way into an exciting, unknown future.


A total of 580 Class of 2024 graduates stepped across the stage to receive their diplomas Saturday at the Cadence Bank Center in Belton.


Valedictorian Hanah Kim and salutatorian Serenity Howery, both National Merit Scholar Finalists, called on their peers to use their hard-fought resilience to make positive change in themselves and in the world.


The second-ranked graduate urged her classmates to pause to consider their achievement and to recognize parents and other important supporters.


Both those who make meticulous plans and those who prefer uncharted exploration, will face unexpected obstacles and challenges, she said.


“Today not only represents the culmination of our high school journey but also the start of ‘something’ more,” Howery said.


Fulfillment, she said, will come from believing in your ability to make a difference, commitment to improving each day, exercising humility and leaning on a strong support system.

Elena Bryan sings anthem Large crowd at HHHS graduation


“Progress should always take precedence over perfection, and maintaining humility can often determine the difference between what you consider failure and success.”


Diverse backgrounds mixed with shared commitment to excellence marked the Class of 2024, the salutatorian said.


“As we embark on our separate paths, my sincere hope is that each of us will continue to strive toward greatness and feel compelled to causes greater than ourselves.”


This class, said Kim, learned to overcome the bizarre start to high school with virtual learning as well as traditional challenges such as procrastinating deadlines and growing into young adults.


“We’re here because of our desire to get through what life threw at us,” the top-ranked graduate said.


Acknowledging she’d like to procrastinate growing up a little longer, she said it’s time to meet life’s challenges.

HHHS 2024 graduation 

“That’s the crux of it, isn’t it? We’re graduating. We are about to go off into this world not knowing what is about to be thrown at us. That’s OK. We’ve learned a lot these last four years. Maybe we can stand to learn a little more.”


In the days and years ahead, Kim said they would revisit the memories of high school.


“When we do, I hope you smile at how much has changed…I hope you’ll laugh and think of the silliest things you did at Harker Heights. When you do, I hope you know we are already becoming better.”


Near the start of the commencement, four-time All-State Choir vocalist Elena Bryan gave a powerful performance singing the National Anthem to a vocally appreciative crowd.


To conclude the ceremony, Class President Sarah Gill urged her fellow graduates to take pride in Harker Heights High School.


She thanked family, friends and educators and ended with, “to the Class of 2024, ‘Congratulations.’ Now, let’s go change the world.”


After moving their tassels from right to left, the new graduates sang their school song for the last time together and tossed their caps in the air.


Then, they strode out of the arena and into the future.


See our HHHS graduation photo gallery here: