Orange and purple reigned May 31 when Maurice J. McDonough High School’s Class of 2022 graduated at a ceremony held at Regency Furniture Stadium. The class was the second of seven that will graduate from Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) through June 3.
The 223 graduates made up one of the smallest classes in number among CCPS high schools but are mighty in school spirit.
Samuel Chernoff, the class’s salutatorian, did not realize how much the sense of community cultivated by members of his class meant to him until it was taken from him due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “During online instruction, I often felt isolated — only interacting with others through a screen,” said Chernoff who will head to Emory University to major in quantitative science. “As the senior year started, I would soon discover something at McDonough I failed to realize as an underclassman. The sense of community.”
McDonough Principal Darnell Russell echoed those sentiments. “We are individually proud and collectively strong,” he said. “Your true strengths are in your numbers.” Russell pointed out that members of Ram Nation 2022 worked together in clubs and organizations to plan events benefitting the community, they traveled to away games to fill fan sections to cheer on Ram athletics and collected more than $14 million in scholarship offers.
The students acknowledge the roles their families played in getting them to graduation. “Without all of you today, there would not be 223 success stories,” Eileen Browning, class president, said.
The Class of 2022 has faced many challenges, so obvious they do not have to be outlined, valedictorian Cydney Wilson, who will attend Johns Hopkins University in the fall to study neuroscience, said in her address. But from the challenges come hard work and skills that will serve them for life. “We will be able to adapt and overcome,” she said.