Class of 2016 finishes high school with graduation at DAR Constitution Hall


Ajay Branch

Graduation 2016 at Constitution Hall.

Sarah Elbeshbishi

Watkins Mill High School’s class of 2016 graduated from DAR Constitution Hall yesterday at 2:30pm, with speeches from principal Carol Goddard, social studies teacher Jim Torrence, senior class sponsor Sandy Young, senior class president Hayley Myren, and senior Jeanellie Ludena.

Goddard addressed the assembled crowd saying that graduation is one of her very favorite parts of being a high school principal. “When I first met [the class of 2016] it was all about the love of this school for the diversity…[and] the sense of family and that holds true,” Goddard said. “They welcomed me here with open arms and have been very supportive of the things we’ve been trying to do this year.”

Sarah Elbeshbishi

Three hundred and thirty six seniors graduated yesterday, though it seemed like just yesterday they were freshman. But with the “triumphs and failures of Homecoming halls, endless football games and pep rallies, fundraisers and dances, the ice bucket challenge, and even the resurrection of Justin Bieber’s relevance,” Myren said, together they “have triumphed and succeeded.”

Sarah Elbeshbishi

Ludena reflected back to August 27, 2012, the class of 2016’s first day of high school, where “nervousness and excitement” stirred in many students, and where they experienced their “first pep rally, first football game, first Homecoming, among many others.”

Sarah Elbeshbishi

Young left the graduates with some advice she “wished someone had told me at my graduation: travel. Travel, travel, travel…Life is short and the world is a big place. Experience it, see the world, see the rest of America, learn about other cultures, learn about other people. If doing so you will learn so much about yourselves.”

Because student speakers typically reflect on their memories of their time at Watkins Mill, Torrence wanted to make his speech a final lesson to students.  Torrence’s last lesson was “about failures that [he’s] had in [his] life, and how it’s important to overcome failure.”  

Sarah Elbeshbishi

Graduation gives students the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments and to give them a chance to “see all the hard work these kids have done for 12,13 years,” social studies teacher Lauren Squier said. “The best part about graduation is being able to see the smiles on the kids faces, knowing that they did it and this is their moment.”

With a quote from Hamilton, summing up “how I feel, how your parents may feel today and have felt for the last four years,” Young concluded. “‘We’ll make the world safe and sound for you, we’ll bleed and fight for you, we’ll make it right for you. If we lay a strong enough foundation, we’ll pass it on to you, we’ll give the world to you and you’ll blow us all away.’”

Sarah Elbeshbishi

“‘Someday, someday. You’ll blow us all away,’” Young concluded. “Your someday is now, Class of 2016. Blow us all away.’”


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