C-SD Class of 2019 graduates

Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper
Salutatorian Zoe Ariel Phillips addresses the Class of 2019.

CAMBRIDGE — Cambridge-South Dorchester High School presented its commencement ceremony on May 29. Principal W. David Bromwell was the master of ceremonies for C-SD’s graduating class of 164 individuals and their families in the C-SD gymnasium. Principal Bromwell pointed out that nearly 4.3 million dollars in scholarship money was claimed by the C-SD class of 2019. “How you reached that goal now doesn’t matter,” said Mr. Bromwell, “what matters is what you do with it in the future.”

C-SD’s concert choir presented Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway and Carl Strommen’s Like an Eagle to entertain the assembled guests, who filled the gymnasium stands and cheered on the graduating class.

“Every one of us has a unique voice that can be used to do great things…use your voice to do great things,” said Salutatorian Zoe Ariel Phillips, in addressing the graduates on Wednesday evening. She stressed the importance of asking questions as an avenue to learning, about speaking up about what you want out of life, and speaking up about injustice in the world.

Mackenzie Elise Freeman introduced Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, who delivered the commencement address. He related stories of his own life, working his way through the political theater, and stressed the work involved to succeed. Mr. Franchot told the class, “You all have the intelligence, capability, determination, and compassion to make your dreams a reality.”

He prefaced his talk with a compliment to Ms. Freeman, saying that he is proud to have hired the first African-American to serve as deputy comptroller, and would hope that when he (reluctantly) left the comptroller’s office, “…ultimately I’m going to get out of this job, and I would love to see someone like Mackenzie Freeman become the Comptroller of Maryland.”

The comptroller was effusive in his praise for Dorchester County, and suggested that the inborn character found in our county graduating seniors will help open doors for them. “So if you guys are looking for a job down the road, come see me, or Mackenzie, one or the other,” he joked. He pointed out that “commencement” also means a coming into existence, and that the world was to be their proving grounds. “It’s not enough to say you’ll have to work hard, it’s not enough to say that you’re going to be well acquainted with failure,” but that occasional failure should not steer anyone away from the chance to take on a challenge. “While life will always be shifting around you, people may come and go, you find yourself in a new place, facing new challenges, that power over who you are and what beliefs you hold yourself to will always be with you. Far worse than failure is to let life push you around.”

He finished his talk by suggesting that students continue to learn, acquire new skills, and then bring them back to Dorchester County to help make it an even better place to live.

C-SD Valedictorian Carrie Lyn Price, a track star in the school, followed Mr. Franchot onto the dais and spoke, comparing the past four years in high school with a running race. Freshman year being the nervous start, sophomore and junior years the settling in and stretching out, senior year giving it your all to get to the finish, though the final year of high school doesn’t mean the end of the race. “It is not only the end of a race. It is simultaneously the beginning of a new one. Then we can move forward, into a million other opportunities that we can get excited about.”

Principal Bromwell was then assisted by Board of Education President Glenn Bramble Jr., and outgoing Superintendent Dr. Diana Mitchell, as the Class of 2019 received their diplomas, ending their high school years and moving on to the beginning of a brand new life.

Paul Clipper is the editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at pclipper@newszap.com.

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