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Maurice J. McDonough High School confers 252 diplomas

With all the pomp and circumstance benefitting graduates, the Class of 2024 of Maurice J. McDonough High School marched to the field of Regency Furniture Stadium Thursday, May 30, one last time together as classmates.

The class of 252 graduates was led by valedictorian Noah Cusack and salutatorian Aiden Gibney. Gibney, who will attend the University of Maryland, College Park, said when he received the call that he would be the salutatorian, he found himself annoyed.

“I really just didn’t want to write another essay,” he said. After some thought, he realized it would be a great opportunity. “Meeting this moment with apathy wouldn’t do me any good. This is a lesson I have learned over the past four years especially and I think will apply forever. Don’t meet life with apathy. Every single day that you wake up is an opportunity to learn something, to make a new friend, to make someone else smile or to work toward your goals.”

Cusack will attend the University of Tennessee in the fall. He reminded his peers how far they have come since their freshmen year when they started high school over Zoom. “Even in our sophomore year, when school returned to ‘normal,’ this was a new normal,” he said. “We were able to adapt and overcome obstacles, paving our way in unprecedented times. This ability to adapt and overcome has been a valuable theme I have noticed in both myself and the entirety of our class.”

Cusack urged his classmates to remember that they can make it through challenges, because they already have. “We have all made it here today,” he said. “Regardless of the challenges we’ve experienced, you found a way through to a brighter place. Class of 2024, when you leave this stadium today as graduates, I challenge you all to keep it up. Continue to adapt, continue to overcome, pave your own path on this wild ride of life we have ahead of us. It won’t always be easy but if there’s anything to take away from high school, it’s that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We can accomplish anything we put our minds to.”

McDonough’s Class of 2024 earned more than $19 million in scholarship offers. North Point High School will close out the CCPS graduation week on Friday, May 31, with a 9 a.m. ceremony held at Regency Furniture Stadium. CCPS is livestreaming all graduations at and on its Vimeo and YouTube channels. Go to

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,765 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 38 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 yoth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).