WALDORF, Md. (June 7, 2016)—Charles County Public Schools wrapped up its 2016 high school graduation ceremonies Saturday night with the promotion of 296 Thomas Stone High School seniors. The Cougar Class of 2016 proudly marched together in to the Charles County Public Schools Convocation Center for their graduation ceremony with school pride on full display.
Dylan Workman, senior class president, welcomed ceremony guests in attendance and advised his peers to embrace the coming changes. "We are no longer the freshmen of Thomas Stone. We are the freshmen of the real world. We are starting to define ourselves as young adults. Embrace this and move forward," Workman said.
Valedictorian Jessica Hoare, a future political science major at James Madison University, provided an emotional speech to her peers and compared their high school experiences to the growth of a tree.
"Like anything, the tree starts from the beginning-for a tree, the beginning is obvious, the roots. We all have a foundation that has kept us sturdy in our times of need. The trunk of the tree is comparable to our education. It is a fundamental part of our lives that sets the tone for the years to come. The faculty at Thomas Stone High School has worked diligently to provide us with an adequate education that will suit us for this ever changing world. They created the trunk of our trees and allowed us to build a taller, fuller and stronger future for ourselves," Hoare said.
Superintendent of Dr. Kimberly Hill addressed the graduating class and encouraged them to stand on their own and have the courage to be a leader. "Class of 2016, here is what we know about you. We know that you have amazing energy. Use that energy to make a positive difference in the world. Don't just life happen to you. Following the crowd and doing what everyone else is doing is easy. But it isn't meaningful. To make a difference in the world means you have to step out of your comfort zone.
In gowns of gold, blue and white, seniors jumped up out of their chairs and loudly cheered when Principal Michael Meiser announced them as high school graduates. "Graduates, please rise. Move your tassels from right to left. Ladies and gentleman, I present to you the Class of 2016!"
Stone graduates received more than $5.2 million in scholarships and comprise the third largest high school graduating class this school year. Their ceremony was a celebratory end to 2016 high school graduations. Photos from all graduation ceremonies held June 2-4 will be posted on the school system website next week at http://www.ccboe.com/graduation2016.php.