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Speakers Highlight 2005 Graduation Ceremonies

May 27, 2005
More than 9,700 high school students and students in alternative programs are graduating and receiving diplomas from the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) this spring. Twenty-eight schools have scheduled graduation ceremonies through June 15.

Commencement speakers include public officials, journalists, educators, artists, and sports figures. Among this year's speakers are Liz Lerman, founder of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange (James Hubert Blake High School) and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright (Thomas S. Wootton High School).

Journalists and writers are particularly popular choices as commencement speakers this year. They include Channel 9 News Anchor Derek McGinty (Alternative Programs), Channel 7 News Anchor Leon Harris (John F. Kennedy High School), White House Correspondent Norah O'Donnell (Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School), Sports Reporter Andre Williams (Montgomery Blair High School), ESPN/CBS Sports Analyst Leonard J. Elmore (Sherwood High School and Winston Churchill High School), Leslie Stahl, 60 Minutes correspondent (Walt Whitman High School), and Peter Mehlman, chief writer for “Seinfeld” (Quince Orchard High School).

A number of teachers, staff, and school system administrators have been asked to be commencement speakers by the 2005 graduating classes. They include Keith Burnham, math teacher at Damascus High School; Thomas Pumphrey, retired principal (Mark Twain School); Michael Riley, athletic director at Poolesville High School; Christopher Garran, principal of Walter Johnson High School, and Melody Gallagher, English resource teacher (Wheaton High School); Oliver Riggs, security team leader at Springbrook High School; Kevin Maxwell, community superintendent (Walter Johnson High School); and Adriana Friedman, transition teacher (Longview School).

Other speakers include Patrick J. Hogan, member of the Maryland Senate (RICA); Lisa Bard, motivational speaker (Rockville High School); Commander John Knowles, senior health care analyst (Rock Terrace School), and Spencer Johnson, former Harlem Globetrotter (Gaithersburg High School). Chris Van Hollen, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, will address the graduates of Albert Einstein High School. Chris Carmack, Magruder graduate and actor will speak at Col. Zadok Magruder High School. Additional speakers include Steven Kaminsky, VP of Research at the Uniformed Services University, (Seneca Valley High School) and County Council President Tom Perez (Northwest High School). Lt. Governor Michael Steele will speak at Richard Montgomery High School Freeman Hrabowski, president of UMBC, will speak at Paint Branch High School. Dwight Hicks from the San Francisco Forty Niners football team will address students at Watkins Mill High School.

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

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