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Highlanders Encouraged to Do ‘Great Things’

Class of 2013 defines McLean High one last time.

The McLean High School Class of 2013 enters Constitution Hall for the Commencement Exercises last Thursday afternoon, June 13.

The McLean High School Class of 2013 enters Constitution Hall for the Commencement Exercises last Thursday afternoon, June 13. Photo by Louise Krafft.

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Senior class president Nicolas Echeverria poses for a photo with the senior class officers: Aamana Feroze, Maia Foster, Sarah Rindone and Taneen Maghsoudi.

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Kristy Leonard and Anna Leong.

The light above the original 13 colony nameplates in Constitution Hall changed from a gushing green to a Highlander red by late afternoon. Of the 521 McLean seniors who proceeded across the stage on Thursday, June 13, 21 percent of them did so with honors.

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Daniel J. Markoff.

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From right, McLean High School Principal Ellen Reilly talks with the keynote speaker, Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Michael Morell. Also pictured are Virginia State Delegate Barbara Comstock (R-34) and Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville).

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Miranda Matheny and Fouad Matin.

Their keynote speaker, CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell, gave the Class of 2013 key principles of how to live one’s life. He told two stories about Sept. 11, 2001: the two people’s stories were Father Mychal Judge and Lieutenant Kevin P. Shaeffer.

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Allie Monrony “I am going to the University of Colorado to study sports broadcasting and in the future I will have my dream job at ESPN.”

Morell said that the stories underscored six life principles: do something that you love, work hard, have integrity, honor those who fight for our freedom, be a good family member and friend, and give back to the community. The Highlander graduating class was encouraged to possess the intangible characteristics of courage, commitment and passion to name a few.

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Gabe Brey: “I am enlisted in the Army and will be doing basic training at Fort Sill, Okla. In seven years, I see myself as a geospatial intelligence analyst.”

Morell quoted President John F. Kennedy by saying “to whom much is given, much is expected.” Morell went on to tell those sitting in the audience that they had hit the trifecta of attending “a great school, in a great region, in a great nation” therefore they were put in a great position to do great things.

Before finally graduating, Madelyn Paquette addressed her fellow students by asking them to define many different things from McLean. The words ranged from made up terms for everyday school activities, to rival schools such as Langley High School, and lastly to define what McLean means to them.