CSD class of 2018 setting records
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.”
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.