The La Plata High School Warriors marched into Regency Furniture Stadium Thursday afternoon as the members of the Class of 2023 prepared to graduate. The sun winked off the top of some bejeweled mortarboards, decorated to celebrate the occasion. The 285 students in La Plata’s graduating class were united by several shared high school experiences.
“I would like to thank every graduating student for being supportive of each other. Evident in our sports teams, performing arts programs and service outside of school, La Plata’s Class of 2023 is determined to bring each other up rather than tear each other down,” Brady Keech, class salutatorian, said. Keech plans to study computer science at the College of Southern Maryland in the fall.
La Plata’s graduating class earned more than $22.5 million in scholarship offers, a record for the school. The money earned will aid graduates as they embark on their futures. Futures that class valedictorian Devon Bragunier is anticipating with nervous excitement.
“I know today is very exciting, but it can also be frightening. Graduating has been a goal for all of us from an early age and now we have reached this milestone,” said Bragunier, who plans to study mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. She said she thought graduation day would be the most exciting day of her life so far. “But I have come to realize that this moment – as important as it feels now -- is just the beginning,” Bragunier said.
While beginning new endeavors, new adventures, she implored her fellow graduates to keep moving, keep achieving even if it seems scary or anxiety inducing. “We need to set new goals, because this moment will fade. Soon we will be graduating from college or trade school. Or even when we get our first jobs. These moments will take precedence as the biggest achievement in our lives. And they can be scary too,” she said. “We must keep moving … When we hit struggles it can be difficult to dust ourselves off and keep moving forward. We should all be nervous about important things. It means that we care.”
La Plata was the sixth out of the seven Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) high schools to hold graduation ceremonies this week at Regency Furniture Stadium. Thomas Stone High School is slated to hold commencement exercises 9 a.m., Friday, June 2. To learn more about CCPS graduations for the Class of 2023, visit www.ccboe.com.
Charles County Public Schools provides 27,598 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).