Stone graduates prepare for their future, celebrate accomplishments at graduation ceremony

Stone graduates prepare for their future, celebrate accomplishments at graduation ceremony

The Thomas Stone High School Class of 2019 marched with Cougar pride during the start of the school’s graduation ceremony held tonight at the Charles County Convocation Center in Waldorf. A total of 260 students received their diplomas today and took the first step toward their future as high school graduates.

The Cougar Class of 2019 was led by valedictorian William Runyon and salutatorian Chloe Cooke. Runyon plans to attend Georgia State University in the fall to study computer science and philosophy. He encouraged his fellow graduates to choose wisely and never give up.

“So choose wisely. Push yourself. Never give up. And choose again. Because our lives will always be an ongoing journey,” Runyon shared.

Cooke will attend Randolph-Macon College and plans to study mathematics and pursue a double minor in elementary education and Spanish. In her salutatory speech, she reflected on how overcoming obstacles has helped the Stone Class of 2019 grow and shared a quote from Michael Jordan.

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it. Thomas Stone has definitely taught us how to live by that motto. We’ve had sudden schedule changes, studying for finals, and preparing to win important sports games. Cougars, we have done it all,” Cooke said.

The Cougar Class of 2019 includes students who are already active in the workforce, enlisted with the U.S. military, received full academic or athletic scholarships to college and those who plan to attend technical or trade schools. Students in the Thomas Stone Class of 2019 earned $18,312,180 in scholarships, which is an increase of offers from previous graduating classes.

Shanif Pearl, Stone’s principal, wished the new graduates the best of luck to the start of their future. “Your graduation is a joyous occasion to celebrate this wonderful milestone. I hope each of you will continue to fulfill your dreams, experiencing many Cougar pride moments,” Pearl said.

Thomas Stone’s graduation was the fourth of seven high school ceremonies planned for May 30-31 and June 1 at the Charles County Convocation Center. Photos from the Thomas Stone graduation ceremony are posted on the school system website at 

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,108 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event. 

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