St. Charles High School seniors were honored today in the first Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) graduation ceremony. Held at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, the ceremony was the first of seven planned for the next week in a new outdoor format. A total of 296 Spartan seniors crossed a stage set up on the stadium field and received their diplomas today.
“This past year, as we all know, has been one like no other. Then it hit me, what I need you to hear – that your experience – more so than any other group – truly has been a unique one,” Principal Richard Conley said to the graduates. “The world that awaits you as high school graduates is far different than the one that awaited your parents, your older siblings or even your classmates from a few years ago.”
Conley reminded the graduates that the world is full of challenges, some new and others still in need of inspirited solutions.
“It is precisely because your experience has been so unique, that I need you to hear that you are in the best position to be active leaders in tackling the challenges that lie ahead,” Conley said. “You are men and women who are not afraid to stand up for what is right. To voice your opinions. To embrace life, and to find ways to overcome adversity. You are activists, artists, athletes, doctors, educators, entrepreneurs, lawyers, scientists and soldiers. In short, you are the future that our country and our world needs.”
St. Charles High School senior Ryann Brown leads the Class of 2021 as valedictorian. Brown plans to attend Georgetown University in the fall to study government. She aspires to become an attorney and sees herself working in the Washington, D.C., area in 10 years. In her valedictory address, Brown encouraged her peers to always advocate for themselves and their community.
“Every single graduate here today has something exciting down the road — even if you haven’t quite figured out what you want to do yet. But if there’s anything you remember from today’s experience, it’s to advocate for yourself, for your livelihood, and for the people in your community,” Brown said.
Class salutatorian for St. Charles this year is Maryam Amosu. Amosu aspires to be an engineer and will attend Johns Hopkins University after graduation. She transferred to St. Charles during her junior year from Virginia and said her peers were the most welcoming of her as a new student. In her speech to the graduating class, Amosu urged her fellow graduates to continue to chase their dreams.
“You all are some of the most welcoming people I have ever met. You showed me that I could rest in my quiet and introverted shell and still be welcome. The world will wonder about how we all managed to get to this point in our lives, and just like the Tootsie Pop ad, the world may never know. But, I believe the class of 2021 will be builders of bridges, activists for social change, and pioneers in their respective fields. We are the glorious, the great and the graduating class of 2021,” Amosu said.
Earlier this school year, CCPS worked with the Charles County Government to secure Regency Furniture Stadium for outdoor high school graduations. Due to COVID-19 safety and health guidelines, CCPS had to scale down ceremony activities, including the number of guests who could attend, to follow social distancing and safety measures.
The Spartan Class of 2021 earned $16,658,120 in scholarship offers.