Graduation Ceremonies Begin Friday, Feature Many Notable Speakers

May 22, 2014
Parents, students invited to share graduation photos with MCPS

More than 10,000 Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students are expected to receive their diplomas during commencement ceremonies that begin May 23 and continue until June 12. The speakers at this year’s commencement ceremonies include political leaders, educators, a Cabinet secretary, and others representing an array of professions and interests.

MCPS is also inviting parents and students to share photos of graduation via email and on Twitter.

The first graduation ceremony is for the MCPS Alternative Programs and will be held on Friday, May 23, at 10:30 a.m., at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater in Rockville. The speaker is Aaron Gilchrist, a morning news anchor on NBC Washington (WRC-TV).

Among the national and state political leaders who will speak at MCPS commencement ceremonies, U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen will address graduates from Winston Churchill High School on May 27 and Governor Martin O’Malley will speak to graduates of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School on May 29. Graduates from Montgomery Blair High School will hear from U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez on June 10, and Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., solicitor general of the United States, will speak at the Walt Whitman High School commencement on June 11.

Other speakers include:
· George Zamka, a retired astronaut, will address graduates from James Hubert Blake High School on May 28;
· Lillian M. Lowery, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, will speak to graduates from Richard Montgomery High School on June 11;
· DeRionne Pollard, president of Montgomery College will speak to graduates from Col. Zadok Magruder High School on May 30;
· Francis Collins, director of the National Institute of Health, will speak to graduates from Walter Johnson High School on May 30;
· Stacey Dixon, head of the Information Integration for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, will speak to graduates from Wheaton High School on June 12; and
· Lee Leipsner, executive vice president for promotions at Columbia Records, will speak to graduates from Rockville High School on May 27.

Some schools will feature local political and community leaders, including Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (John F. Kennedy High School, June 9); Council President Craig Rice (Gaithersburg High School, June 6); Councilmember Phil Andrews (Model Learning Center, June 6), and Board of Education Vice President Patricia O’Neill (Longview School, June 10). Several schools will feature teachers and students as speakers.

This year, 21 of the graduation ceremonies will be held at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C., which will live stream the events on their website. Ceremonies will also be held at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD., the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, and at individual school or program locations.

List of Graduation dates, times, locations, and speakers 

Submit Graduation Photos

MCPS is inviting parents and students to share their favorite 2014 graduation snapshots, which will be shared on the district’s website and social media.  

For email, parents should select their best horizontal graduation snapshot and send the photo as a .jpeg file (no larger than 4 MB) to Please include your child’s first name and school (we will not publish last names). Many of the pictures will be posted on the MCPS website and flickr account beginning Tuesday, May 27.

For social media, parents and students can post photos on Twitter using the hashtag #MCPSGrad. Some of the posts will be retweeted on the MCPS Twitter feed.

By submitting a photo, parents are agreeing to its use for publication on the MCPS website.

<<Back to browse