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Maurice J. McDonough High School celebrates a sense of community at graduation

Orange and purple reigned May 31 when Maurice J. McDonough High School’s Class of 2022 graduated at a ceremony held at Regency Furniture Stadium. The class was the second of seven that will graduate from Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) through June 3.

The 223 graduates made up one of the smallest classes in number among CCPS high schools but are mighty in school spirit.

Samuel Chernoff, the class’s salutatorian, did not realize how much the sense of community cultivated by members of his class meant to him until it was taken from him due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “During online instruction, I often felt isolated — only interacting with others through a screen,” said Chernoff who will head to Emory University to major in quantitative science. “As senior year started, I would soon discover something at McDonough I failed to realize as an underclassman. The sense of community.”

McDonough Principal Darnell Russell echoed those sentiments. “We are individually proud and collectively strong,” he said. “Your true strengths are in your numbers.” Russell pointed out that members of Ram Nation 2022 worked together in clubs and organizations to plan events benefitting the community, they traveled to away games to fill fan sections to cheer on Ram athletics and collected more than $14 million in scholarship offers.

The students acknowledge the roles their families played in getting them to graduation. “Without all of you today, there would not be 223 success stories,” Eileen Browning, class president, said.

The Class of 2022 has faced many challenges, so obvious they do not have to be outlined, valedictorian Cydney Wilson, who will attend Johns Hopkins University in the fall to study neuroscience, said in her address. But from the challenges come hard work and skills that will serve them for life. “We will be able to adapt and overcome,” she said.

CCPS will continue to hold graduation ceremonies at the stadium through June 3. To view graduations, click here.

About CCPS

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).