More than 7,700 high school students and students in alternative programs are graduating and receiving diplomas from the Montgomery County Public Schools this spring. Twenty-six schools have scheduled graduation ceremonies through June 11.
Commencement speakers include public officials, journalists, educators, and scientists. The schedule of speakers is highlighted by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton who will address graduates at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. Among other prominent commencement speakers are U.S. Representative Constance Morella (John F. Kennedy and Gaithersburg high schools), WRC-TV news anchor Joe Krebs (Richard Montgomery and Col. Zadok Magruder high schools), and Washington Post columnist Bob Levey (Quince Orchard and Poolesville high schools). National Public Radio Weekend Edition reporter and Montgomery Blair High School graduate Daniel Zwerdling will speak at his alma mater.
Senior exit surveys conducted by the school system since 1983 have historically shown that Montgomery County Public School graduates have both high aspirations (sixty-eight percent of 1998 graduates, for example, planned to receive master's or doctorate degrees) and successful entry into post secondary education programs.
The 1998 Senior Exit Survey (see link 1 below), the most recent available, showed that more than three-quarters (84 percent) of the senior class planned to attend either a 4-year or 2-year college the following fall, and 65 percent of these seniors planned to attend a 4-year college. Rates of acceptance of students from MCPS were generally significantly higher than those for all other freshmen applying to college. For example, at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, 87 percent of MCPS students were accepted compared to 61 percent of all freshmen applying.
Seniors in 1998 typically applied to two or three schools, the top five of which were the University of Maryland at College Park, Montgomery College, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Towson University, and Pennsylvania State University.
A complete list of graduation ceremonies, with speakers, times, dates and locations, was sent to the news media. (See link 2 below for 1999 Graduation Schedule for dates, times, and locations.)