News Release, Charles County Public Schools

The Thomas Stone High School Class of 2019 marched with Cougar pride during the start of the school’s graduation ceremony held tonight at the Charles County Convocation Center in Waldorf. A total of 260 students received their diplomas today and took the first step toward their future as high school graduates.

The Cougar Class of 2019 was led by valedictorian William Runyon and salutatorian Chloe Cooke. Runyon plans to attend Georgia State University in the fall to study computer science and philosophy. He encouraged his fellow graduates to choose wisely and never give up.

“So choose wisely. Push yourself. Never give up. And choose again. Because our lives will always be an ongoing journey,” Runyon shared.

Cooke will attend Randolph-Macon College and plans to study mathematics and pursue a double minor in elementary education and Spanish. In her salutatory speech, she reflected on how overcoming obstacles has helped the Stone Class of 2019 grow and shared a quote from Michael Jordan.

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it. Thomas Stone has definitely taught us how to live by that motto. We’ve had sudden schedule changes, studying for finals, and preparing to win important sports games. Cougars, we have done it all,” Cooke said.

The Cougar Class of 2019 includes students who are already active in the workforce, enlisted with the U.S. military, received full academic or athletic scholarships to college and those who plan to attend technical or trade schools. Students in the Thomas Stone Class of 2019 earned $18,312,180 in scholarships, which is an increase of offers from previous graduating classes.

Shanif Pearl, Stone’s principal, wished the new graduates the best of luck to the start of their future. “Your graduation is a joyous occasion to celebrate this wonderful milestone. I hope each of you will continue to fulfill your dreams, experiencing many Cougar pride moments,” Pearl said.

Thomas Stone’s graduation was the fourth of seven high school ceremonies planned for May 30-31 and June 1 at the Charles County Convocation Center. Photos from the Thomas Stone graduation ceremony are posted on the school system website at

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...