Charles Co. Public Schools News Briefs

CCPS seniors receive $62 million in scholarship offers

Charles County Public Schools will honor 2,162 seniors on May 29 and May 30 during graduation ceremonies for six high schools in the Convocation Center at North Point High School. Students in the Class of 2015 were offered more than $62 million in scholarship offers, which is an increase of about $7 million from last year. Valedictorians and salutatorians were announced earlier this week. These positions are determined by students’ grade-point averages and represent the top academic achievers at each high school.

Henry E. Lackey High School’s valedictorian is Melissa Nelson of Indian Head and the salutatorian is Jessica Nichols of White Plains. Nelson will attend Penn State in the fall and plans to study material science and engineering. Nichols heads to the University of Maryland College Park in the fall and will study nursing.

Ciara Albrittain of Faulkner is La Plata High School’s valedictorian and salutatorian is Gabrielle Scanlin of La Plata. Albrittain will attend Wofford College in the fall and plans to study Biology with a focus in pre-medicine. Scanlin plans to study political science at Wake Forest University.

Maurice J. McDonough High Schools’ valedictorian is Shannon Haley of La Plata, and the salutatorian is Tatianna Griffin of Waldorf. Haley wants to study mathematics and will attend The University of Mary Washington. Griffin heads to Longwood University in the fall where she plans to study anthropology.

Salma Ansari of Waldorf is North Point High School’s valedictorian, and Laila Abujuma, also of Waldorf, is North Point’s salutatorian. Ansari plans to study Biology: neurology and physiology, and Arabic at the University of Maryland College Park. Abujuma also plans to attend the University of Maryland College Park, where she will study biological sciences with an emphasis in cell biology and molecular genetics.

Thomas Stone High School’s valedictorian is Amanda Reigel of Waldorf, and Faith Breads of Waldorf is the salutatorian. Reigel will attend North Carolina State University to study biomedical engineering, and Breads plans to study computer science at the University of Maryland College Park.

Ricardo Cardoza of Waldorf is Westlake High School’s valedictorian and Maaria Chughtai, also of Waldorf, is the salutatorian. Cardoza heads to the University of Maryland Baltimore County and plans to study mechanical engineering. Chughtai has not yet declared a major and plans to attend the College of Southern Maryland in the fall.

2015 graduation numbers by schools (scholarships will increase as offers are received)

Henry E. Lackey High School

-- Total graduates: 290

-- Scholarship offers: $7,128,250

La Plata High School

-- Total graduates: 380

-- Scholarship offers: $12,637,544

Maurice J. McDonough High School

-- Total graduates: 332

-- Scholarship offers: $8,873,700

North Point High School

-- Total graduates: 501

-- Scholarship offers: $18,010,927

Thomas Stone High School

-- Total graduates: 306

-- Scholarship offers: $5,861,804

Westlake High School

-- Total graduates: 353

-- Scholarship offers: $10,086,298

Charles County Public Schools Totals

-- Total graduates: 2,162

-- Scholarship offers: $62,598,523

All high school graduations will stream live on the school system website, To watch the ceremony live on the CCPS website, visit A personalized image for each graduation ceremony will rotate on the main page of the website close to the start time of each ceremony. Website visitors only need to click on the picture for the ceremony in which they want to view to access the live coverage.

Each ceremony can also be directly accessed at the following web addresses. Coverage of each ceremony will also be posted at the direct addresses below following the end of each ceremony.

La Plata - May 29, 8:30 a.m.:

Stone - May 29, 2 p.m.:

Westlake - May 29, 7:30 p.m.:

North Point - May 30, 8:30 a.m.:

McDonough - May 30, 2 p.m.:

Lackey - May 30, 7:30 p.m.:

Student leaders selected for coming school year

The Student Member to the Board of Education of Charles County for the 2015-16 school year was recently chosen from among student leaders at Charles County’s seven public high schools. Pearson Benson, a rising junior at Westlake High School, will represent Charles County Public Schools students as the Student Board Member. He will be sworn in to his position at the Board of Education’s June 9 meeting.

Student candidates interested in being considered for the position are required to submit an essay regarding a student concern and possible solution. A committee composed of school system staff selects the student to work with the Board. The Student Board Member works with a committee of student liaisons, one student from each high school, throughout the school year. Each high school is required to have a student liaison, which is selected by methods approved by the school’s student government association (SGA) and principal.

The following students were chosen to serve as liaisons for their high schools:

-- Amanda Hobgood, rising senior, Henry E. Lackey High School;

-- T.C. Martin, rising senior, La Plata High School;

-- Michael Malherek, rising senior, Maurice J. McDonough High School;

-- De’Juon Washington, rising senior, North Point High School;

-- Paris Mercier, rising senior, St. Charles High School and alternate Student Board Member; and

-- Jessica Hoare, rising senior, Thomas Stone High School.

A liaison for Westlake High School will be chosen next month.

Student members of the Charles County Association of Student Councils (CCASC) also selected new officers for the 2015-16 school year. Representing the CCASC next school year are

-- Kiara Williams, rising senior, president, Westlake;

-- Joseph Perriello, rising junior, vice president, North Point;

-- Cole Smith, rising freshman, second vice president, North Point;

-- Shelby Lawanson, rising senior, secretary, Westlake;

-- Rabia Dhanani, rising senior, charity coordinator, Westlake; and

-- Wyatt Kirkpatrick, rising seventh grader, Matthew Henson Middle School.

Each year, CCASC officers are elected by student delegates in the spring. Schools develop their own methods for selecting CCASC student delegates. Each high school sends 15 delegates to monthly meetings; middle schools send up to 10 delegates. The CCASC is an organization consisting of student leaders from the county’s six high schools and eight middle schools. These students meet throughout the year to discuss issues and concerns, as well as provide input to school system leaders on programs and policies.

T.C. Martin DI team places among top 10 at globals

Six Charles County Public Schools teams competed at the global Destination Imagination (DI) tournament held May 19-23 in Knoxville, Tennessee, and one team placed among the top 10 schools in their challenge. The Martin Neon Improv-ers team from T.C. Martin Elementary School earned an eighth-place award out of 77 elementary school teams that competed in the challenge, The Improv Games. Team members include Martin third graders Autumn Forsythe, Madelyn Wilson, Lillie Wright, Peyton Lauterborn and Kindcade Burroughs, and fifth grader Sarah Thacker.

Other teams that participated in the global tournament were:

-- The Improv Games challenge, North Point of No Return team from North Point High School;

-- Lose to Win challenge, North Point 2 Electric Boogaloo team from North Point;

-- Creature Feature challenge, NPHS/WHS UmmWhat?!? team from North Point and Westlake high schools;

-- Making Waves challenge, Davis D.I.Namic Avengers team from Theodore G. Davis Middle School; and

-- Making Waves challenge, Lil Ppl Hate Science team from La Plata High School.

Five CCPS teams served as International Buddy Teams to teams from Mexico, Yukon, China and Turkey. Eight graduating seniors participated in the global finals graduation ceremony in which they were invited to walk across the event stage to receive a DI graduation certificate.

Students also participated in several activities involving creativity, problem solving and team work, including the duct tape costume ball where students made costumes from duct tape. Additionally, student attendees visited the DI pin trading zones where students traded pins with other competing teams.

The competition was divided into elementary, middle and high school team competitions, and featured six challenge categories: Creature Feature, Making Waves, Lose to Win, The Improv Games, Feary Tales and Brand Aid. More than 1,450 teams competed at the global level, and included schools from 48 states and 17 countries. For more information and detailed event results, visit

Destination Imagination is a creative problem-solving program for students in grades kindergarten through college and is active in 50 states and more than 40 countries. Teams of up to seven members work to solve different challenges and present their solutions to a panel of judges. Students compete at the regional, state and global levels.

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