Proud of our grad­u­ates

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - Kim­berly A. Hill, La Plata The writer is the Charles County Su­per­in­ten­dent of Schools.

Three days, 2,062 diplo­mas con­ferred, 17,500 guests in at­ten­dance and more than $66 mil­lion in schol­ar­ships of­fered. Charles County Pub­lic Schools (CCPS) grad­u­a­tion week­end was a suc­cess, thanks to the work of so many peo­ple.

This past week­end is one more ex­am­ple of why I am proud to work in CCPS. Grad­u­a­tion is the cul­mi­na­tion of ev­ery­thing that we do, and the grad­u­a­tion cer­e­monies showed how, when we work to­gether, we can ac­com­plish amaz­ing things. CCPS em­ploy­ees prac­ticed with the grad­u­ates, dis­trib­uted diplo­mas, cleaned the Con­voca­tion Cen­ter be­tween each cer­e­mony, as­sisted guests in find­ing seats, pro­vided a livestream video, di­rected traf­fic/ park­ing, re­dec­o­rated the venue in each school’s col­ors and tra­di­tions, greeted and as­sisted par­ents, pre­pared and served food, trans­ported equip­ment to and from the site, vol­un­teered to work Pro­ject Grad­u­a­tion, man­aged stu­dents as they lined up to grad­u­ate, mon­i­tored weather fore­casts and made dozens of on-thes­pot de­ci­sions to en­sure a suc­cess­ful event for each and ev­ery fam­ily.

CCPS didn’t do this alone. There were many other peo­ple who helped make grad­u­a­tions mem­o­rable for the Class of 2016. Thanks to Sher­iff Troy Berry and the mem­bers of the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, our stal­wart part­ner, for pro­vid­ing se­cu­rity and safe ac­cess and egress from the cam­pus. The Mary­land State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion pro­vided sig­nage alert­ing ev­ery­one of the in­creased traf­fic. A spe­cial thank you to our pub­lic of­fi­cials who at­tended grad­u­a­tions and ex­tended their per­sonal con­grat­u­la­tions as grad­u­ates re­ceived a diploma.

We also thank our part­ners at the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land and the Charles County Cit­i­zens for Sub­stance Free Youth for host­ing Pro­ject Grad­u­a­tion all three nights. This al­co­hol and drug-free grad­u­a­tion party has been held for the past 31 years due to the tire­less lead­er­ship of John Hay­den and his group of ded­i­cated vol­un­teers. It pro­vides a fun, safe haven for our grad­u­ates.

I am hon­ored to live and work in Charles County, where agen­cies, busi­nesses and peo­ple work to­gether to sup­port chil­dren.

We are truly stronger to­gether, and I ap­pre­ci­ate the sig­nif­i­cant sup­port we re­ceived from each per­son who played a role in pro­vid­ing the very best grad­u­a­tion for the Class of 2016.

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