After the last day for the 2018-2019 school year on Friday, Loudoun County high schools are starting the week by sending students off into the next chapter. More than 5,800 students are graduating this year.
Four high schools held ceremonies on Sunday—Broad Run High School, Dominion High School, Freedom High School and Stone Bridge High School.
Monday morning featured three high school graduations at Loudoun County High School, celebrating its 65thyear with 330 graduates, Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville (342 graduates) and Potomac Falls High School in Sterling (396 graduates).
At Loudoun Valley High School, Principal Susan A. Ross said the senior class “left a leadership mark” on the school and taught teachers, administrators and staff to “always be classy and carry ourselves with grace.” Ross praised the students for their collective accomplishments in sports, debate, theater, music, and of course, academic achievements. “The future is happening now,” she added, pointing out that there were some third-generation LVHS graduates in attendance, and at least one fourth-generation student of Loudoun schools.
Valedictorian Diane Heinle, who plans to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall, urged her fellow students to “continue to grow and learn as we step into a bright future,” adding that each student’s future will bring opportunities and challenges along the way.
Keynote speaker Matthew Sutton, a 2008 LVHS graduate and current global brand marketing lead for Facebook, described his personal struggles in figuring out what he wanted to do after school. While he had a “Plan A” in mind dating back to middle school that included doing everything he was supposed to do, he said his subconscious was constantly working on a Plan B. This led to him eventually realizing that he should pursue what he wanted to do, instead of going by the path that he laid out years earlier.
“Moments that can start out feeling like they’re the worst thing in the world can turn out to be the best thing,” he said, adding that following his Plan B “led me to learning who I actually am, vs. who people want me to be.”
Sutton offered this advice to graduates: “Embrace the power of Plan B.”
Graduation ceremonies continue through Loudoun County tomorrow. The following graduation ceremonies take place Monday night and Tuesday:
Briar Woods High School
10 a.m. Tuesday, June 11, EagleBank Arena at George Mason University
Speaker: Steve Murphy, DEA special agent and public speaker
Heritage High School
7:30 p.m. Monday, June 10, Heritage High School Stadium
Speaker: Reed Prosser, former faculty, Heritage High School
John Champe High School
9 a.m. Tuesday, June 11, John Champe High School Stadium
Speaker: Jared Green, entrepreneur
Park View High School
2 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, EagleBank Arena
Speaker: Lawrence Palmer, faculty, Park View High School
Riverside High School
8 a.m. Tuesday, June 11, Riverside High School Stadium
Speaker: Benjamin Freeman, faculty, Riverside High School
Rock Ridge High School
7 p.m. Monday, June 10, Rock Ridge High School Stadium
Speaker: Eugene Legg, faculty, Rock Ridge High School
Tuscarora High School
8 a.m. Tuesday, June 11, Tuscarora High School Fortune Field
Speaker: John B. Wood, CEO, Telos Corporation
Woodgrove High School
8 a.m. Tuesday, June 11, Woodgrove High School Stadium
Speaker: Scott Payne, parent, Veteran and local business owner