Schools Schedule Commencements and Speakers

May 19, 2004
More than 9,500 high school students and students in alternative programs are graduating and receiving diplomas from the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) this spring. Twenty-nine schools have scheduled graduation ceremonies through June 11.

Note: See related announcement about change in times for four graduations at DAR Constitution Hall due to funeral activities for the late President Ronald Reagan.

Commencement speakers include public officials, scientists, business leaders, journalists, students, educators, and sports figures. Among the participants are two college presidents: Dr. C.D. Mote, University of Maryland (Paint Branch High School), and Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Wheaton High School). The University of Maryland also is represented by football coach Ralph Friedgen, who will speak at Sherwood High School.

Journalists and Authors

Journalists and authors are particularly popular choices as commencement speakers this year. They include David Halberstam (Watkins Mill High School), Catherine Hughes (Quince Orchard High School), Tom Kurkjian (Rock Terrace School), Lesli Foster (Walter Johnson High School), Joe Krebs (James Hubert Blake High School), Juan Williams (Winston Churchill High School), Ron Suskind (Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School), Leon Harris (Alternative Programs), and James Brown (Northwest High School).


A number of teachers have been asked to be commencement speakers by the graduating class at their school. They include Fred Swick, physical education teacher at Poolesville High School; Robert Handler, retired social studies teacher at Col. Zadok Magruder High School; Margaret Penn, retired world studies teacher at Gaithersburg High School; and Adam Graham, English teacher at Springbrook High School.

Graduates and Current Students

Speakers who are MCPS graduates include Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes, speaking at Damascus High School, and Marcus Johnson, founder of Three Keys Music Company, speaking at his alma mater, Montgomery Blair High School. Rockville High School alumni and recent college graduates, Sarah Srivastava and Michael Gualtieri, will give the commencement addresses at their former high school. Two current students will be giving commencement addresses: Adriana Friedman at Longview School and Felicia Jackson at Mark Twain School.

Other speakers include Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (Albert Einstein High School), Congressman Albert Wynn (John F. Kennedy High School), parent educator Billie Stephenson (Stephen Knolls School), and J. W. Marriott, grandfather of a graduating senior at Walt Whitman High School. Dr. Claire Frasier, president of the Institute for Genomic Research, will address graduates at Richard Montgomery High School, and Linda Chavez-Thompson, executive vice president of the American Federation of Labor, with speak to the Thomas S. Wootton High School graduates. Marina Harrison, the current Miss Maryland, will speak at Seneca Valley High School. Cryptologist Diego Reyes will address students at RICA.

A complete list of graduation ceremonies, with speakers, times, dates, and locations is available at the link below.

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