Speakers Highlight 2006 Graduation Ceremonies

May 30, 2006
Nearly 10,200 high school students and students in alternative programs are graduating and receiving diplomas from the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) this spring. Twenty-nine schools have scheduled graduation ceremonies through June 12.

Commencement speakers include public officials, journalists, educators, businesspeople, and sports figures. Among this year's speakers are actress Lynda Carter (Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School); Michael McCurry, press secretary in the Clinton administration (Albert Einstein High School); Vice Admiral Richard Carmona, surgeon general of the United States (Damascus and John F. Kennedy high schools); and Sheila Johnson, owner of the Washington Mystics and co-owner of Black Entertainment Television (James Hubert Blake High School). Senator Mark Pryor from Arkansas will speak at his alma mater, Walt Whitman High School.

Journalists are popular choices as commencement speakers once again this year. They include NBC news correspondent Kevin Corke (Paint Branch High School), National Public Radio senior correspondent Juan Williams (Montgomery Blair High School), WJLA news anchor Kathleen Matthews (Northwest High School), ESPN writer Tim Kurkjian (Watkins Mill High School), and ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt, who will speak at his alma mater, Sherwood High School.

A number of teachers, staff, and school system administrators have been asked to be commencement speakers by the 2006 graduating classes. They include Gregg Gochnour, science resource teacher at Rockville High School; Nancy Abeshouse, teacher and parent at Springbrook High School; Irene Mallery, athletic director at Wheaton High School; Stephen Hobson, history teacher at Col. Zadok Magruder High School; and Longview School teachers Tara Johnson and Adriana Friedman. James Fernandez, principal at Albert Einstein High School, will speak at the Richard Montgomery High School graduation.

Other speakers include Ambassador Connie Morella (Thomas S. Wootton High School); Susan O’Malley, president of the Washington Wizards (Gaithersburg High School); Jose Brown, White House Secret Service agent (Mark Twain); Judge Nelson Rupp, Jr., Montgomery County Circuit Court (Alternative Programs); Gus McLeod, aviator (Quince Orchard High School); Dhani Jones, former Philadelphia Eagles football player and alumnus (Winston Churchill High School); Chief Thomas Manger, Montgomery County Police Department (Rock Terrace); William Askinazi, corporate development lawyer (Poolesville High School); Dr. Irving Williams, Adventures in Health, Education, and Agricultural Development (Walter Johnson High School); Edmund Hodge, vice president and chief administrative officer, Adventist Health Care (Seneca Valley High School); and Shawn Lattanzio, program specialist, Department of Health and Human Services (Stephen Knolls School).

Summer school graduation will be held on August 16 at John F. Kennedy High School.

A complete list of graduation ceremonies, with speakers, times, dates, and locations, is available at the link below.

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