CSD class of 2018 set­ting records

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com Fol­low Caro­line/ Dorch­ester Edi­tor Dustin Holt on Twit­ter @Dustin_ Star­Dem.

The Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester High School class of 2018 made his­tory earn­ing more than $4.1 mil­lion in schol­ar­ships — the most by a sin­gle class in school his­tory.

CAM­BRIDGE — The Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester High School class of 2018 made his­tory earn­ing more than $4.1 mil­lion in schol­ar­ships — the most by a sin­gle class in school his­tory.

The com­mu­nity cel­e­brated the seniors at grad­u­a­tion Thurs­day, May 31. The his­tor­i­cal theme was rep­re­sented through the en­tire cer­e­mony. The com­mence­ment speaker was U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Sara Joyner, who graduated from Cam­bridge-SD in 1985.

Joyner went on to grad­u­ate from the U.S. Naval Academy and be­come a fighter pi­lot. She es­tab­lished her place in naval his­tory as the first woman to com­mand a VFA-105 in 2010 and as the first fe­male com­man­der of a strike fighter car­rier air wing in 2013.

Known by her call-sign “Clutch,” Joyner talked about how she could have gone the easy path in the Navy, but she de­cided to chal­lenge her­self by go­ing to flight school and push­ing her­self to be a fighter pi­lot.

She said her road was met with a lot of re­sis­tance from peo­ple who doubted her be­cause she was a woman. She re­peat­edly was ad­vised to set­tle for a ca­reer fly­ing slower planes, but she never gave in to the doubters.

“It wasn’t the friendli­est time push­ing into naval avi­a­tion,” she said. “Be­cause we couldn’t fly in com­bat, we were sec­ond-class cit­i­zens. But I still wanted to do it so I se­lected jets.

“A lot of peo­ple went out of their way to tell me not to do it. But as I went through train­ing, the re­spect grew. The in­struc­tors got over it be­cause they looked at my per­for­mance and saw I was a valu­able as­set.”

She went on to fly F-18 Hor­nets and flew in com­bat. She rose through the ranks on her way to com­mand a fighter squadron.

“I did find out that a lot of the re­ally vo­cal ad­ver­saries that I had who would come up to me and tell me I didn’t be­long, they were not the ma­jor­ity,” she said. “There were a lot of peo­ple out there who were sup­port­ing me. They watched my per­for­mance and knew I could be suc­cess­ful. They were there for me.

“They were not in­ter­ested in my gen­der. They cared about my ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

“I see a lot of that to­day how you all have to face the vo­cal troll. You just have to let trolls not do it. You should not let it rep­re­sent what peo­ple think about you. Trust peo­ple on face value. Eval­u­ate who they are.”

Joyner said she wanted the class of 2018 to take pas­sion and grit with them as they be­gin their lives af­ter high school.

“If you want that job or op­por­tu­nity, you can’t let a bad boss, a bad day, a bad troll get in the way of your dreams,” she said. “You have to keep go­ing. You have to keep your dreams alive.

“Be­ing raised and ed­u­cated in Dorch­ester County alone gives you an un­com­mon amount of grit. Pas­sion and grit have more to do with your suc­cess than any other fac­tor in life. What­ever you do, don’t give up. Ex­er­cise your Eastern Shore grit. Pur­sue your dreams.”

CSD Vale­dic­to­rian Leah Grace Fule Kro­tee be­gan her own new jour­ney five years ago when she moved to Dorch­ester County from Car­roll County. Af­ter four years at four dif­fer­ent schools, she found a home at CSD when she be­gan her fresh­man year.

“With my fam­ily’s move five years ago came op­por­tu­nity,” she said. “The op­por­tu­nity came, such as, mak­ing life­long new friends, and meet­ing teach­ers, coaches and ad­min­is­tra­tion mem­bers who that taught lessons be­yond the class­room, in­flu­enc­ing not only my life but other stu­dents, as well.

“Change is what al­lows our fu­ture to be so bright. For that, I’m grate­ful. In spite of how I dis­like change, I re­al­ize that it is what’s needed to open doors, to al­low us to pur­sue our pas­sions. It is also im­por­tant to keep these mem­o­ries of the past four years close. They are the foun­da­tions that sup­port us. This class is a gifted class.”

Prin­ci­pal Dave Bromwell also an­nounced the class of 2018 made his­tory in an­other way. It was the first time in her ten­ure as prin­ci­pal the school saw a tie for sa­lu­ta­to­rian.

Emily Browhawn and Hunter Kane tied with the sec­ond high­est GPA, and each got to give a sa­lu­ta­to­rian ad­dress.

“Many of us would not be here tonight with­out the help of friends, fam­ily, fac­ulty and so many oth­ers that have touched our lives,” Bro­hawn said. “We are not just hear to cel­e­brate and honor the class of 2018’s many ac­com­plish­ments, but to ap­pre­ci­ate and rec­og­nize the im­por­tant im­pact all that sit here tonight have made in out lives.

“Your fu­ture is lim­it­less. Your goals are within reach. All you have to do is grab them.”

Kane spoke about the chal­lenges he faced dur­ing high school.

“I lost three out of four of my grand­par­ents be­fore turn­ing 15,” he said. “They al­ways in­spired me to be the best I can be, and I’ve never for­got­ten that.

“Also I lost the abil­ity to see out of one of my eyes in eighth grade. I still played three sports, two of which (foot­ball and lacrosse) are not easy for some­one with one eye. In life, there will al­ways be dif­fi­cult chal­lenges that we have to fight through, and as long as we keep our heads up and try, we can de­feat those chal­lenges.”

Bromwell thanked the stu­dents for the great four years, and ap­plauded them for all of their suc­cesses in high school.

“The word re­siliency fits this class,” he said. “You do over­come ob­sta­cles.”

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester High School Vice Pres­i­dent Chyna Wongus, cen­ter, cel­e­brates with her class­mates at the end of grad­u­a­tion Thurs­day, May 31.

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester’s Sa­muel Gless­ner, right, waves to the crowd when he re­ceived his diploma at grad­u­a­tion Thurs­day, May 31.

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester High School grad­u­ate Ha­ley Wright, left, with her mom Amy Wright af­ter grad­u­a­tion Thurs­day, May 31.

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester’s Latisha Wil­liams re­ceives her diploma at grad­u­a­tion Thurs­day, May 31.

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