La Plata High School celebrated its Class of 2021 on June 2 in a traditional ceremony held outdoors at Regency Furniture Stadium. A total of 285 graduates crossed the stage to begin their next journey in life.
“Class of 2021, you started this year where the Class of 2020 left off — in the middle of the worst pandemic the world has ever seen, “ Principal Douglass Dolan said. “I am proud at how well you learned to pivot. For so long you have taken change and subsequent disappointments in stride with grace and humility. You realized that this pandemic did not define you as a class.”
“Someday, you will look back and realize this experience is one that made you stronger, better, more innovative,” Dolan said. “It was the opportunity that led you to understand that you can overcome any hurdle no matter how large or — in this case of COVID-19 — how microscopic.”
La Plata High School Class of 2021 leaders include Valedictorian Ebin Sebastian and Salutatorian Olivia Boyce.
Sebastian will attend the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) to complete an associate degree program in computer engineering. He plans to transfer to the University of Maryland to complete his bachelor’s degree. Sebastian plans to pursue a career in computer engineering, and learn about managing resources, programs and technology to help his goal of becoming an entrepreneur.
In his valedictory speech to his peers, Sebastian compared his high school experiences to the layout of a film. And encouraged his peers to remember the path that brought them to graduation.
“In the movie that is our life, we have yet to meet our real struggle, whether it be internal or external. We have yet to experience the climax that will change our lives drastically. And while this surreal moment feels like it is our turning point, it’s not. It is but a moment in the long running-minutes of our lives—a moment that I hope all of you will remember fondly and with great happiness,” Sebastian said. “May our class stay the closest together, even though we had to stay the furthest apart.”
Boyce heads to the University of Mississippi in the fall and plans to major in accounting. She hopes to continue her studies and earn a master’s degree. Boyce plans to pursue a career in business. She received a full academic scholarship to attend Ole Miss.
“The purpose of a salutatory address is to reminisce on the past. Our past four years attending La Plata High School have been anything but ordinary,” Boyce said. “Every graduation class likes to think they are extraordinary. Extraordinary means very unusual or remarkable. And we are the only class that has truly been extra-ordinary.”
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 Class of 2021 from La Plata earned $17,757,614 in scholarship offers this year. Scholarship totals may increase as graduates report offers.