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Westlake High School graduates pay tribute to parents, family members for supporting their education  

The teal and orange robes of Westlake High School Wolverines caught the afternoon sun as the 276 members of the school’s Class of 2024 entered the field of Regency Furniture Stadium for their commencement exercises.

The class, led by valedictorian Margareth Dagamac and salutatorian Mason Wheeler, earned nearly $19 million in scholarship offers.

Dagamac, who will study neuroscience and biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University in the fall, came to the United States from the Philippines with her mother both only knowing the how to say “Hi,” and “Thank you,” in English. Dagamac remembered watching her mother work multiple jobs to support their small family while finding time to nurture and support her daughter.

“Her strength and resilience have been my greatest inspiration,” Dagamac said. She also thanked her father and urged her peers to take a moment to recognize their parents, guardians and family members in the audience for their support. “As we step into the next chapter of our lives, let us do so with our hearts full of gratitude and our eyes set on the horizon,” she said. “Make it your mission to spend the day with the ones you love the most and cherish every second.”

Wheeler, who will attend Marshall University in the fall, spoke of another family of sorts. He found a family at Westlake. He didn’t think he wanted to go to Westlake. He wanted to go to another high school but didn’t get accepted. “It wasn’t until much later until I began appreciating Westlake for what it has become to me – my home, full of people who have believed in me, full of endless opportunities,” Wheeler said. “I wasn’t being supported in the last years despite going to Westlake. I was being supported because I went to Westlake.”   

CCPS continues graduation ceremonies Thursday, May 30, at Regency Furniture Stadium with Henry E. Lackey High School set to graduate at 9 a.m., and Maurice J. McDonough High School’s commencement ceremony scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

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 youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).