Centreville High principal Michael Campbell called it the James Bond class — the class of 007. And when nearly 500 Centreville seniors graduated at the Patriot Center on June 13th, boasting 26 valedictorians and 125 National Honor Society members, it truly seemed as though this mission had been accomplished.
NEWS4 SPORTS ANCHOR and reporter and 1996 Centreville High School graduate Lindsay Czarniak was the keynote speaker at the graduation.
"It is so crucial to believe in yourself and believe that you can make a difference," said Czarniak in her speech. "Dream your biggest, don't let anyone tell you no, speak your minds and don't be afraid of what people think. You can truly do anything; your destiny is in your own hands. Be yourself, have fun, and don’t take yourself too seriously.”
Instead of having one valedictorian address, Centreville had three. Ryan Akrami, Gertrude Okyere, and Jennifer Riedel all gave a short address before Czarniak spoke.
Senior class administrator Sharon Tompkins welcomed everyone assembled, while senior class board members Jessica Miller and Jennifer Hicks introduced the guests and Principal Campbell. After Elizabeth Boivin presented the faculty award and Director of Student Services Gail Reynolds presented the valedictorians. Senior class board member Carolyn Rushing then introduced Czarniak. Senior class sponsors Chris Padgett and Kristen Sherer presented the candidates for graduation, while Principal Campbell awarded the diplomas.
Before and after the ceremony, the Patriot Center was full of families and friends who had come to see their loved ones graduate.
"We're very proud," said Ron Campbell, whose son Jarrett Campbell will be attending Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall. "This is a happy day for the whole family. He is the last of four children to graduate."
Robert Winn, whose son Stephen will be attending George Mason University and majoring in International Studies, said he is looking forward to his son's future.
"WE'RE EXCITED about what he's going to embark on," he said. "We're extremely proud of him."
“We are proud of his accomplishments,” said Susan Fitzgerald, aunt of graduate Charlie Hall, who will be attending James Madison University and will be majoring in theater. “We know he’ll have a great time at JMU.”
The processional and recessional were performed by the Centreville Symphonic Band, under the direction of Elizabeth Boivin. The National Anthem at the beginning of the ceremony was performed by the Centreville Choral Department, under the direction of Lynne Babcock. The presentation of the colors was performed by the Chantilly Academy Air Force JROTC Color Guard.