LA PLATA, Md. (June 06, 2017)—Find your purpose. Take the small roles in life. Leave an imprint on the world. These messages, and more, were shared by students in the Thomas Stone High School Class of 2017 during their graduation ceremony held June 2.
For the 296 graduating seniors, Friday, June 2 marked the first day of the rest of their lives as high school graduates. The Cougar class was led by valedictorian Calenna Cauley and salutatorian Luke Roberts. At the start of the ceremony, the soon-to-be graduates entered the Charles County Convocation Center, wearing gowns of blue, gold and white, and full of Cougar pride.
Stone Principal Chrystal Benson addressed her seniors and talked about what having Cougar pride means. Benson explained that when students demonstrate examples of Cougar pride, she makes schoolwide announcements so other students can hear and learn by example.
"We start each day with a Cougar pride moment. The P is for productivity; the R is for respect; the I is for involvement; the D is for diligence; and the E is for eco-friendly. I have a big Cougar pride moment for the Class of 2017. This class has amassed over $9 million in scholarships this year. There is more in store for you seniors—I hope your lives are filled with many more Cougar pride moments to come," Benson said.
Cauley beamed with excitement as she delivered her valedictory address to her fellow graduates. She urged her peers to find a purpose and live life to the fullest. "This is not the end. This is only the beginning. My advice to all of you? Live life to the fullest. Adult or child, just do it. You only have one life. You only live this life once. Do great things," Cauley said.
In his salutatory address, Roberts reminded his classmates to be on the lookout for great opportunities. "All of us sitting here today have a lot of opportunities right in front of us, just waiting for us to seize them. It could be today, it could be tomorrow, or it could be a few years from now. No matter when it is, you'll know when it happens. Take advantage of those opportunities and do great things Class of 2017," Roberts said.
Westlake High School Principal Michael Meiser also addressed the graduating class from Stone, as he served as an administrator at the school for several years before moving to Westlake. "I miss you all and wish you the best in life," Meiser said.
At the conclusion of the ceremony following a roomful of cheers, Benson proudly urged her graduates to stand and turn their tassels. "Ladies and gentleman, I present to you the Class of 2017," Benson said.
Stone graduates received more than $9.2 million in scholarship offers, which is more than double the offers from last school year. The Stone Class of 2017 comprises the second largest group of graduating seniors this school year. Stone's graduation was the second of seven high school ceremonies held June 1 to 3 at the Charles County Convocation Center.