CSD honors Class of 2017
CAMBRIDGE — The theme of the evening was change as Cambridge-South Dorchester High School’s Class of 2017 received their diplomas Tuesday, May 23.
The school honored 138 graduates and gave encouragement as the students begin the next chapter of their lives in continued education, military service, or the workforce.
The ceremony began with Catherine Ryan lighting a memorial candle for Elihu S. “Colt” Abbott III who died in August 2014 before entering his sophomore year. He would have graduate Tuesday.
Abbott was a member of the cross country, swim and lacrosse teams. The
memorial candle rested on a table in front of a picture signed by his fellow 2017 graduates. Each graduate received a “Colt” wristband with the message “110 Percent Colt.”
Principal David Bromwell announced that the Class of 2017 earned $3,059,964 in scholarships, bringing CSDHS to a seven-year total of $17,318,755.
A common theme among the varied messages delivered throughout the event was the inevitability of change and how embracing it will lead to success.
Salutatorian Trevor Goodwin urged his classmates to keep the memories of high school close, because nothing will ever be the same as the past four years.
“We are all about to experience a big change,” Goodwin said. “The walls of this school will only know us as memories. With this change comes opportunity, an opportunity to make a difference, an opportunity to embrace the change.”
Valedictorian Johnathan Brohawn began his speech by recognizing the change that the whole of Dorchester County Public Schools will feel with the retirement of Superintendent Dr. Henry V. Wagner.
“His hard work and dedicated years of service have produced many students that he would call college and career-ready,” Brohawn said, before eliciting a round of applause for Wagner.
Brohawn praised his fellow graduates for what they have accomplished thus far, and encouraged them to follow their own path from here on out.
“Each one of us has a unique destination that defines our idea of success,” Brohawn said. “Success can mean anything to anyone, so seek out your version of success, not someone else’s.”
“Over the past four years, our paths have led to the common goal of graduating. Today marks the ending of that road, and the beginning of our travels on our new paths toward individual success. Always carry with you the friends and memories you have made throughout your time at C-SD.”
Commencement speaker Mervin E. Dennis, Retired Chief Master Sergeant of the United States Air Force, was introduced by Class President Jacob Morris.
Morris noted that Dennis obtained the highest possible rank in the U.S. Air Force, was active in Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, and served as Director of Operations for Air Force One Maintenance, among many other notable accomplishments.
“Life has a way of revealing to you hidden talents that you never knew existed,” Dennis said. “You have to be aware. You have to be ready to embrace challenges. You have to step out of your comfort zone.”
He told the graduates that they have far too much potential to become complacent.
“You never know what life will throw at you, and you never know where you’re really going to end up, but you have to have a plan,” Dennis said. “The one thing you can be certain of is change.”
Dennis made a point of trying to bridge the generation gap between himself and the graduates to illustrate the importance of understanding different perspectives. He told the students that, in the real world, they will interface with people who hold different perspectives, and they must do their best to understand and relate to those around them.
He also reminded the students that they must focus on the future because the one thing they cannot change is the past.
“Graduation is the springboard to the rest of your life,” Dennis said. “My charge to you is to embrace your differences, but make sure that your difference is defined by being better.”
Bromwell thanked parents, friends, family, faculty, staff, community leaders, and others for their support of the Class of 2017 graduates. The Dorchester County Board of Education members were in attendance, along with principals and administrators from across the county.
Cambridge-South Dorchester graduates Tre’ Lake, left, Aaron Collins, Katie Smith Makayla Hitch, C.J. Brummell and Curtis Stanton celebrate after graduation Tuesday, May 23.
Cambridge-South Dorchester Class of 2017 members celebrate after turning their tassels Tuesday, May 23.