The 238 members of Henry E. Lackey High School’s Class of 2021 celebrated their graduation today, June 1, at Regency Furniture Stadium.
Lackey’s ceremony is the third Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) graduation held at the stadium. In gowns of blue and white, graduates filed into the stadium, scanning the crowd to look for families and friends as they made their way to their seats.
The class has much to celebrate. In addition to participating in a traditional in-person ceremony – however altered to observe COVID-19 protocols, the class collected $17,296,504 in scholarship offers. For the first time in recent history, the school has three salutatorians — Brynna Bode, Tiana Clemons and Christina Walker.
Sahana Venkatesh is the valedictorian. In her remarks, Venkatesh reflected on the past 14 months. She said she held focus on her studies but that shifted and she found herself finding comfort in spending time with her family and friends when the world changed. While she kept an eye on her lessons, she found life held more. “I want to take a moment to thank all my teachers at Henry E. Lackey high school for not only providing me with a quality education but for always supporting me and believing in me when I did not believe in myself,” she said. “You helped me put relationships before rigor, grace before grades, patience before programs and love before lessons.
Kathy Perriello, Lackey’s principal, addressed the graduates in the form of a school announcement.
“Each and every one of you has value – hear me very clearly. Never underestimate the significance and impact you can make in someone’s life,” she said. “Always remember to act with good intentions. And make sure your heart is in the right place.”
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.