Maurice J. McDonough High School’s graduation ceremonies were filled with a sea of purple (and orange) on Wednesday afternoon as the Class of 2023 bid farewell to their high school years. The graduating class showcased their exceptional achievements, bringing in an impressive $20,652,943 in scholarship offers, with more expected in the coming weeks.

The ceremony was led by valedictorian William Edwards and salutatorian Jean Hughes, who delivered inspiring speeches to their fellow graduates. McDonough High School celebrated the accomplishments of its 234 graduates as they prepare to embark on their next chapter in life.

With aspirations of becoming a chemical engineer, valedictorian William Edwards will attend the esteemed University of Maryland, College Park. Edwards expressed his gratitude for the valuable lessons learned during their time in high school. “We learned some big lessons, like the importance of integrity, honor, and holding true to those values,” he remarked. Edwards emphasized that although graduation marks the end of their high school journey, it is also the beginning of their future endeavors. He encouraged his peers to look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead, stating, “While today is the end of the path and we are excited to be done with high school, we should also be looking forward to our futures.”

Salutatorian Jean Hughes, who will attend the Rochester Institute of Technology to pursue a major in cybersecurity, echoed Edwards’ sentiments. She commended her classmates on their collective achievements and emphasized the importance of cherishing the memories they have created together. Hughes expressed her eagerness to apply the knowledge gained in high school to the real world, saying, “Our journey has just begun. While today feels like the end, it is only the beginning of the great things we will accomplish.”

Principal Darnell Russell took the opportunity to address the graduates, highlighting the remarkable accomplishments of the Class of 2023. The class excelled in various areas, including performing arts, athletics, academics, and personal goals. Russell expressed immense pride and admiration for the students, emphasizing the unity and spirit of “Ram Nation.” He said, “Today, we celebrate the achievements of an incredible group of young people. I’m filled with pride and admiration.”

The celebrations continue as Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) holds graduation ceremonies throughout the week for the Class of 2023. Over 2,100 CCPS seniors are expected to receive their diplomas in outdoor ceremonies held at Regency Furniture Stadium. These ceremonies provide an opportunity for friends, family, and educators to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the graduating students.

To learn more about the achievements of the CCPS Class of 2023 and stay updated on the graduation ceremonies, visit the official website at The Class of 2023 from Maurice J. McDonough High School is a testament to the commitment and excellence fostered within Charles County’s educational institutions. As they embark on their next endeavors, these graduates carry with them the lessons learned, the friendships forged, and the determination to shape a bright future.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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