A flood of teal, accented with orange, washed over Regency Furniture Stadium today, June 1, when Westlake High School’s Class of 2022 held graduation ceremony.
The 268-member class — which racked up more than $18 million in scholarship offers — was led by valedictorian Ann Ubaka and salutatorian Casey Metzger. Both Ubaka and Metzger are interested in working in the medical field following college. Ubaka will attend Jacksonville University on a scholarship provided by the school. Metzger is attending the University of Maryland, College Park in the fall where she is set to major in biological sciences. After college she sees herself as an internal medicine physician working in her own practice or clinic.
Both Ubaka and Metzger thanked Westlake teachers and staff for helping them and their peers make it through the past four years with bumps in the road that no one saw coming.
“We survived a pandemic, a difficult junior year and a hectic senior year,” Ubaka said. “But here we are … ready to cross the finish line. This is merely the beginning of the best that is yet to come.”
Principal Diane Roberts was the “new kid” at Westlake four years ago — just like the members of the Class of 2022. “We began our journey together four years ago when we all had to learn how to navigate as Westlake Wolverines. You as students and me as a first-time principal,” Roberts said. “Just think about all those plans we made to have a normal four years. But life had other plans that caused us to quickly grow up together.”
Rather than rehashing the struggles and trauma, Roberts instead had another idea for her address. “I want to speak into your life words of affirmation for the present and encouragement for the future,” she said. “No matter what we’ve been through, growth is the product of our years together. In our growth, one thing we have learned is that words have power.”
Roberts said the words she was speaking into their lives were chosen to support the graduates in the present while launching them into tomorrow. Roberts urged the graduates to cultivate grace, discernment and boldness. “The word that generates all other words is love,” Roberts said. “Love is not a feeling. Because our feelings are fickle. Love is a decision and once that decision is made, it activates a powerful force that drives our actions. … Grace, discernment, boldness, love.”
“Class of 2022, these words I have served you are your final high school impartation,” she said. “I’m sure our staff will agree. We have given you all that we have, and you left no crumbs.”
During Westlake’s livestream, technical difficulties prevented the ceremony from being aired in full. The ceremony is available to view in its entirety on the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) YouTube and Vimeo channels. To learn more about CCPS graduations, click here.
The CCPS Class of 2022 will celebrate graduations throughout the week at the stadium. For a list of graduations and how to watch them live, 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).