La Plata High School celebrated its ninety-fourth commencement ceremony celebrating the Class of 2022 June 2 at Regency Furniture Stadium. The class demonstrated traits they share with their school’s mascot — the Warriors.
Kailyn Pratta, the class president, recalled the years she and her peers shared which culminated in graduation. After a traditional freshman year, “Sophomore year we heard rumors of an unknown virus and a two-week vacation,” Pratta said. “We were all OK and we were only sophomores.”
Then the class’s junior year was spent virtually. “Senior year, we’re back,” she said. “We took our COVID tests and our SATs. After four long years it’s finally the time to show our growth to the world. We are strong, we are resilient and we are Warriors,” Pratta said.
“To say that your high school career has been a rollercoaster ride would be an understatement,” Principal Douglass Dolan said in his address. “Still every year, no matter what was thrown at you, you continued to forge on to meet your goals both in and out of the classroom.”
Dolan pointed out the accomplishments the 273 graduates have made academically, athletically and in extracurricular activities. La Plata’s Class of 2022 earned more than $14 million in scholarship offers and was led by valedictorian Leah Kwak, who will study biological sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park in the fall, and Taylor Peterson, the salutatorian who will attend the University of Maryland, College Park where she is a member of the Gemstone Honors Program. Like Kwak, Peterson plans to major in biological sciences.
Each year, Dolan challenges students to determine the legacy they will leave behind at La Plata. To the graduates, he expands on that challenge.
“What do you want your life’s legacy to be,” he asked. “You have prevailed through a pandemic, along with an ever-changing world. Please continue to be resilient and stand up for what’s right. Flex the dignity and strength of your character as you support those who could use a helping hand. Not only making our community a better place but a kinder place that extinguishes stereotypes and demolishes shame. This class is full of leaders and people that I believe will change this world in a positive way.”
Dolan said the graduates should revel in their accomplishments and celebrate graduation but after the parties have ended, “You still have work to do,” he said. “There is more to life than being smart. You must also remember to remain humble and be kind. To be such will afford opportunities to profoundly impact the heart of humanity.”
To learn more about graduation and find links to watch ceremonies, click here.
Charles County Public Schools provides 27,000 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.
CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).