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Highlander Class of 2012 Graduates

McLean High School says farewell to 428 seniors.

McLean High School senior Linda He receives her diploma at graduation Thursday, June 14 at DAR Constitution Hall.

McLean High School senior Linda He receives her diploma at graduation Thursday, June 14 at DAR Constitution Hall. Photo by Alex McVeigh.

— The 428 members of the McLean High School Class of 2012 gathered for the final time at DAR Constitution Hall Thursday, June 14 for the school’s annual commencement ceremony. The students donned their red caps and gowns to celebrate the end of their time at McLean High and to celebrate their future.

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Members of the McLean High School Class of 2012 throw their caps in the air at gradation Thursday, June 14 at DAR Constitution Hall.

Deborah Jackson, McLean High principal, credited the class for their work above and beyond what was expected.

"Thank you for setting a good example for all of us and believing that just being ordinary just won’t do," she said. "Continue to use all the talents, the skills, all the blessings you have received... to deliver to the world outside of the McLean community."

Jackson presented Nicholaus Baker and Ellen Springsteen with the annual faculty awards. She commended Baker for his "innate ability to motivate and inspire goodwill" and Springsteen for her "enthusiasm for learning and unconditional positive regard for others."

"The faculty have selected these superstars as possessing the qualities that epitomize and capture the spirit of McLean High Highlanders," she said.

During his address as senior class officer, Baker said before coming to McLean, he dreaded coming to school, but was soon impressed with the dedication of the faculty. He even recalled one physics teacher that allowed students to smash a cinderblock with a hammer on top of his chest.

Erik Leimkuhler gave the student address, and he said he enjoyed being a part of such a diverse group of students with a diverse group of interests and talents.

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Seniors from McLean High School’s Class of 2012 pose for photos after graduations Thursday, June 14.

"The classmates you are sitting next to have composed the beautiful landscape that we have been running through for the past four years. No matter how many times we think we’ve passed them, there are always new accomplishments to be shared, new talents to uncover and new beauties to relish," he said. "I glance back and I see Emma Leiken gracing an audience with her beautiful vibrato, I see Terry Mittelman keeping the spotlights in perfect position, Hamiz Quereshi taking lap after lap during a grueling lacrosse practice and Yasmina Shields at the pottery wheel, diligently working to finish her portfolio."

The keynote speaker for the event was Ann S. Moore, McLean Class of 1968 and former chairman and CEO of Time, Inc, the company’s first female CEO. Moore urged the students to find a purpose for their lives, something that would make a difference.

"There’s certainly nothing wrong with making money, but the richness of your life won’t be measured by it," she said. "You are now responsible for your life and career all the way to the finish line."