Centreville High School held graduation ceremonies last Wednesday, June 18 at George Mason University's Patriot Center for 425 students — the smallest graduating class in Pam Latt's 10 years as principal.
As the graduates paraded in to cheers and applause, the ceremony kicked off as band director Elisabeth Boivin led the band in "Pomp and Circumstance."
Senior class administrator Sharon Tompkins welcomed the guests and graduates, as the CVHS Symphonic and Front 'n Centre Choirs sang the "National Anthem," and Melvin Su, senior class board member, recited the "Pledge of Allegiance."
The Faculty Award was presented to Dan Mellies, who was recognized for his dedication and involvement in the school, as well as his strength of character.
Principal Latt introduced the 23 valedictorian candidates, all of whom achieved a 4.0 GPA or higher.
Valedictorians Ali Hafiz, Michael Sorrell, and Lisa Tegethoff spoke during the ceremony. In her speech, Tegethoff reflected on the importance of friends, family, and teachers.
"Those closest to us have been among the most important in inspiring changes among us. Our families have encouraged us to join clubs and get involved — our teachers to learn — and our friends have stood by our side. These people have contributed to what we've aspired to become."
Senior class board member Christina Shema presented Latt with the class gift — a new Wildcat mascot costume.
Next was senior class board member Rachel North who presented the class history, capped off with a slide show, which was created by Cristine Backhus and Meghan Dullea.
A musical interlude followed the slide show, where both the Symphonic Band and Symphonic Choir, under the direction of Elisabeth Boivin and Lynne Babcock, partook in an upbeat rendition of "America the Beautiful."
Commencement speaker Jonathan Frohm, an English teacher, urged students to "live out the future in trust. Even when the world seems chaotic all will be right in the end."
Graduates Jennifer Rosoff, Lynsey Peterson, and Lauren Princi sang a moving tribute — "In My Life," by Paul McCartney and John Lennon.
"We picked the song because it was different than most of the songs used during graduation from our generation. The words suited the situation well, and it was something our parents could relate to [from their generation]," Princi said.
The graduates then received their diplomas, in a show of vibrance and excitement.
Senior class board member Andrea Filak closed the ceremony with a farewell address, and introduced the newest graduates of Centreville High. When asked what she wished for the graduates, Latt advised them to "keep striving to grow and be good learners. Don't forget all you learned and be sure to stay friends."
Said Shema: "It was our last time together as a class, which was kind of sad. It was a mostly happy day, though."