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Maurice J. McDonough High School confers 234 diplomas at graduation

Purple (and orange) reigned Wednesday afternoon during the graduation of Maurice J. McDonough High School’s graduation ceremonies.

Members of McDonough’s Class of 2023 brought in $20,652,943 in scholarship offers with more expected in the coming weeks. Led by valedictorian William Edwards and salutatorian Jean Hughes, the class included 234 graduates. Edwards plans to study chemical engineering and will attend the University of Maryland, College Park. Hughes plans to major in cybersecurity and will attend Rochester Institute of Technology.

“We learned some big lessons, like the importance of integrity, honor and holding true to those values,” Edwards said. “And now it’s time to apply those out in the real world.”

After more than a decade of being students, Edwards reminded his peers that while today feels like something is ending, it’s the opposite. Edwards said he wondered how the last day of school – the actual last day – would feel. “Classmates, we wonder no more,” he said. “The day is here, but in reality, our journey has just begun. While today is the end of the path and we are excited to be done with high school, we should also be looking forward to our futures.”

McDonough Principal Darnell Russell addressed the graduates and touted the classes achievements. Superior ratings in the performing arts, athletic accomplishments, academic achievements and personal goals met defined the Class of 2023.

“This is Ram Nation,” Russell said. “Today we celebrate the achievements of an incredible group of young people. I’m filled with pride and admiration.”

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) continues to hold graduation ceremonies this week for its Class of 2023. More than 2,100 CCPS seniors are expected to receive diplomas during outdoor ceremonies held at Regency Furniture Stadium. To learn more about the CCPS Class of 2023, visit

 About CCPS

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).