WALDORF, Md. (June 7, 2016)—The St. Charles High School Class of 2016 lived up to the namesake of their school mascot—the Spartan—on June 4 as they made history as the first graduating senior class from the school.
The 292 graduates entered the Convocation Center for their ceremony beaming with pride and a strong sense of accomplishment. This class earned more than $10 million in scholarship offers—the second highest amount among the county's seven high schools.
In welcoming guests and graduates to the ceremony, St. Charles High School Student Government Association President Tatyana Smith gave a heartfelt speech about how the student body came together and bonded with one another at a new high school.
"When I came to St. Charles I never felt more like an outcast. And then one day, and for all of us it was a very different day, you found something you really loved and enjoyed to do. Slowly we began to take pride in our school and shape it into what we believed it should be. Life after high school isn't going to be kind, delicate or easy. What comforts me is that we are ready to conquer the fear of change. We will welcome the change. You can do it. St. Charles High School gave you your best chance at success," Smith said.
Representing the first St. Charles senior class as valedictorian is Amber Williams, who plans to study psychology at the University of Maryland College Park. In her comments to her peers, Williams urged her classmates to stay focused and enjoy life after high school. "We became a family. Congratulations on creating a legacy as the first graduating class at St. Charles. Stay focused… since you made it this far, I know you are all talented and capable of achieving your dreams," Williams said.
St. Charles Principal Richard Conley expressed his enthusiasm to promote his first group of graduates and thanked the senior class for establishing high expectations and a positive culture for underclassmen.
"I can remember the first time quite well that I met many of you. Two years later as I stand here and look at the faces of our 292 graduates, I am proud of you as you helped to define what it takes to be a Spartan. Each of you has been instrumental in building a culture of success at St. Charles High School. You have set the bar high for students who will follow you for generations," Conley said.
The graduation ceremony for St. Charles was the fifth of seven planned for June 2-4 at the Charles County Public Schools Convocation Center. This is the second year the school system has hosted high school graduation ceremonies in the Convocation Center. Last school year, more than 22,000 visitors and staff members attended ceremonies at the Convocation Center.
Photos from St. Charles' graduation ceremony, as well as images from all other ceremonies, will be featured in a gallery on the school system website this week at http://www.ccboe.com/graduation2016.php.