News Release, Charles County Public Schools
The 242 members of Henry E. Lackey High School’s Class of 2019 were all together for the last time June 1 when they graduated following four years of hard work and fun times. In time, the Chargers might even call them the “good ol’ days.”
“We don’t realize how many special moments come from our time at Lackey,” said Samuel Guzzone, who shared the title of valedictorian with Garrett Batchelor. Guzzone said it can be difficult to see the “good ol’ days” when you are living in them.
“When you’re in high school, it’s hard to see we’re in the good ol’ days,” he said. “Those crazy projects, long homework assignments, AP tests and the ridiculous relationship drama. They all distract us from seeing the good parts.”
And there were good parts, said Ashley Herbert, class salutatorian. As a freshman her main fear was being judged by material or shallow things – like appearance or social status. “When in reality, nothing of that sort matters during high school,” she said. “… My classmates were not focused on what they viewed from the outside, but rather the person that they knew on the inside.”
It’s a trait which Kimberly Hill, superintendent of schools, asked the graduates to stoke as they enter adulthood. “Take responsibility for the energy you’re putting out there. Be the person who shows up with energy and enthusiasm. Your attitude is contagious. Your joy or enthusiasm rubs off on the people around you,” she said.
Kathy Perriello, Lackey’s principal, reminded graduates that they are now essentially adults. “It is not easy being an adult. You have to make tough decisions,” she said.
As a principal and a mother, she said she prays for the safety and happiness of her children — all of them, “For the past year, two, four or seven, you have been the center of my everything. Your successes and your challenges,” she said.
One day the graduates celebrating today may look back on their high school experience as the “good ol’ days,” they must also remember the days that were not as good. The times that tested them and how they persevered.
“I ask you to take a moment and reflect on the times where you were disappointed, and as we move forward, remember to do so with a plan,” said Batchelor, Lackey’s co-valedictorian. “ … As we exit these doors after commencement, the next 30ish years are wet clay in our hands, so start shaping it now. Live a life worth living so when we look back at this chapter – in its closing – there are no missed opportunities we could have controlled.”
The school’s Class of 2019 earned more than $14.6 million in scholarship offers. Lackey’s graduation was the sixth of seven high school commencements Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) held over a three-day period from May 30 to June 1 at the Charles County Convocation Center at North Point High School. Photos from Lackey’s graduation ceremony are posted on the school system website at https://www.ccboe.com/index.php/graduation-2019.