Reston: ‘Blessed to Be a Part of It’
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Reston: ‘Blessed to Be a Part of It’

546 students graduated from South Lakes High School on Thursday, June 18.

Kimberly Le and Jonathan Lee smile moments after graduating.

Kimberly Le and Jonathan Lee smile moments after graduating. Photo by Ken Moore.

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English teacher Valerie Padgett sometimes consulted an urban dictionary to understand her South Lakes High School students.

“You all made me laugh,” she said. “I have been blessed to be a part of it.”

The senior class chose her to be the faculty member to give the commencement address at their once-in-a-lifetime commencement ceremony.

“Of all the students I have taught, you have had the most heart,” she told the Seahawks Class of 2015.

“I was both honored and horrified,” she told them, to laughter. “I first want to thank you for the sleepless nights, the generalized anxiety, and right now, the overwhelming feeling of nausea.”

She talked of her first year teaching in 1989 when she was determined to motivate students to love F. Scott Fitzgerald.

After 25 years of teaching, her point of view has changed.

“The goal is not to be inspiring, but to be inspired,” she said to the 546 seniors who matriculated.

More than 110 South Lakes students received grade point averages over 4.0.

About six students will serve the United States in the military, and received standing ovations from teachers, classmates and people in the audience.

“The power of your spirit is always within you,” Padgett told the graduating students.

Benjamin Gaiarin was the student speaker.

“My lips are, in a sense, everyone’s lips,” he said. He then kissed a relic spirit swivel stick used by faculty and senior class during the school year. But the words that followed spoke for and to the entire student body.

“Wherever your next steps may take you, notice the little moments,” he said. “The small moments ... bring out the flavor we never expected.”

Gaiarin reminded everybody of the loss of a classmate in class of 2015, Emma Clark, who died in September.

“We will always remember Emma’s warm smile,” he said. “Today, Emma walks with us.”

Class officer Khoa Nguyen introduced teacher Peter Kownacki, who gave the principle address.

“He gave us a lot more than just an appreciation for bowties,” Nguyen said.

“Always be an advocate for your own learning,” said their teacher. “Remember never to sit idly by when you don’t understand something.”

“I am in awe of your future potential,” Kownacki said.

Students entered the George Mason Patriot Center to hear South Lakes Band play “Pomp and Circumstance” by Edward Elgar and “Fanfare and Flourish II” by James Curnow.

During the ceremony, they heard fellow graduates in the 2015 Senior Chorus sing the “Star Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key and “I Was Here” by Diane Warren. And after receiving their diplomas, students marched off the George Mason University floor to “Keep Ya Heads Up,” “Happy,” “ABC,” and “Shake it Off.”

Valerie Padgett referenced J.R. Tolkien.

“Class of 2015, safe travels, until we meet again.”

South Lakes Class of 2015

Sofia Wara Abdala

Makhabat Abdisattarova

Jonathan Hossein Abdollahzadeh

Ahmad Sanjar Abdul Ali

Jared Louis Abelson

Muhamad Sufyan Abuel-Hawa

Paola Gabrielle Acosta

Kyla D.A. Adams

Brianna Stefanie Agee

Jordan Mahin Aghamiri

Princess Tegheosase Aghayere

Flwah Adel Al Wayli

Sebastian Halit Albayrak Palacino

Evan James Alexa

Mohsin Ali

Reem Hashim Ali

Malik Tyree Allen

Zack Montgomery Allen

Jacob Philip Anders

Justin Lin Anderson

Elise Grace Andrich

Noah Lee Argleben

Anthony Arias

Marvin Osvaldo Aries-Mendoza

Sahana Simha Arkalgud

Shawn Christopher Armao

Samuel Joseph Arpee

Alexander Abbas Arshadi

Meron Tesfayohannes Asgedom

Corey Richard Aurentz

Heydi Joanna Ayala Alfaro

Kaitlyn Ann Ball

Jacob Ruiz Barajas

Paige Ellis Barlow

Jacob Benjamin Barnes

Angela Denise Barrale

Taylor Anthony Basnight

Hans Michael Baussus von Luetzow

Henning Alexander Baussus von Luetzow

Niklas Maximilian Baussus von Luetzow

Jaivir Singh Baweja

Kathryn Joy Beach

Aleah Ashley Beale

Elaine Fitzgerald Bee

Sara Pearl Bekenstein

Megan Alyse Bell

John Christopher Bellman

Sean Patrick Berg

Sean Michael Bermingham

Erin Leigh Bidwell

Andrew James Billingsly

Ashley Chara Birman

Kirsten Jane Bohnenberger

Christina Jayme Bohnet

Leonardo Antonio Bojorge

Alexis Isabel Bolivar

Jonathan Bonelli

Adonis Josue Bonilla Gomez

Abigail Josephine Bossie

Mark David Bouwmeester

Justine Elyn Bromley

Joshua Aaron Brooks

Charlotte Merrill Brown

Gavin Miles Brown

Ashley Mary Brundage

Kevin Matthew Bryan

Kaylee Ann Buckley

Virginia Elizabeth Bulger

Emily Nicole Bull

Burtrice Jamika Bumbrey

Lindsay Mariel Bur

Tristan Stephen Bustamante

Ethan MacLennan Byrd

Kelly Marie Carney

Rebekah Faith Carrai

Javier Emilio Carrasco Torrez

Sequoia Christianna Carrillo

Alina Valentian Cartwright

Luis Miguel Chacon

Joselyn Esmeralda Chavez

Alexis Cierra Cherry

Michelle Chien

Oziomachukwu Chinaka

Chloe Marie Lynn Chindgren

Grant Benjamin Chustz

Matthew Edward Cibak

Joshua Yujin Clark

Estefani Vanessa Claros Escobar

Ryan Clinton Coghlan

Lindsey Anne Cohen

Kathryn Tandy Cole

Zachary Azriel Coleman

Benjamin Walter Constantine

Jewel Yonni Cooper

Kalle Pentti Velhelmi Copeland

Aliyah Jade Cotton

Anthony Spencer Cox

William David Craun

Andrew Evan Creekmore

Edmund Matthew Crump

Sydney Elise Crutcher

Juan Manuel Cruz

America Gail Cuchillas

Kayla Denice Cummings

Marcus Dupree Damper

Farnaz Daneshvaran

Julian Dawit Danielsson

Benjamin Richard Darby

Madeleine Rose Daum

Gabriel Brennen Davis

Katherine Margaret Degutis

Emily Quinn Deker

Maria Elena DeMorat

Hope Renee Deschene

Daniela Mijares Dew

Harrison Edwin DeWolfe

Simran Dhungel

Benjamin Rainer Dietz

Erin Elizabeth Dlott

Samantha Nicole Dobies

John Richard Doley

Jerrick Anthony Dorsey

Layne Mannon Dos Santos

Leah Michelle Duffy

Susan Teresa Duffy

Andrew Daniel Duran

August Beattie Durham

Brodie Woods Edgerton

Bryce Thomas Emerson

Gavin Robert Thompson Erard

Hannah Kathryn Ericksen

Graciela Elizabeth Escamilla

Rafael Antonio Escobar

Anna Mariko Evans

Catherine Otera Evans

Ebony Monay Farmer

Astrid Helene Favre

Emma Ruth Kaimi Ferguson

Alexis Adonys Fernandez

Joshua Michael Filchock

Abigail Ascher Fine

Lara Jane Finley

Sara Jo Finley

Sarah Ann Fioramonti

Joseph Arthur Flynn

Brandonn Willis Fogno Kamga

Leon Dmitri Fomil

Christian Ian Manala Francisco

John William Frauenheim

Joseph Ethan Freidin

Kalie Renee Fultz

Benjamin Carlo Gaiarin

Ryan Erik Galliher

Edwin David Garcia

Jeffrey Garcia-Cartagena

Isabel Olivia Garvey

Marissa Lee Garza

Samuel Louis Gavin

Charles Gabriel Geddes

Kristian Thor Gendron

Carlos Armando Geronimo Osorio

Saul Ernesto Geronimo Osorio

Pierre Jean Davy Giaon

Brian Joseph Gibbons

Erin Grace Gibbons

Samantha Beth Gifford

Savannah Dawn Gilkes

Maxwell Zaire Gillum

Myles Zachary Gillum

Ramya Priya Gogineni

Aviella Rebekah Goldsmith

Rafaella Simone Goldsmith

Jonathan Jeffrey Gomez

Alejandra Gomez Zarate

Julia Nicole Gonzales

Jose Rigoberto Gonzalez Alvarado

Elias Andrei Gorine

Megan Elizabeth Greatorex

Kamylia Gribi

Carlina C. Gross

Sabrina Lee Groves

Jessica Anne Grubbs

Dona Vassileva Guenova

Daniel Sean Gurley

Jonathan Gutierrez-Santos

Merna Osama Habib

Melissa Angela Maida Hadley

Joshua Namdi Hairston

Deonte Christopher Hall

Thomas Jackson Hall

Lina Han

Nicholas Francisco Harasty

Andrea Carolina Harbour

Yusnitafili Harefa

Penina Louise Harte

Dean Cordova Hartke

Yasmine Abdel Moneim Hasan

Alison Sylvia Haselhorst

Darius Diontre Hawkins

Dylan Bryce Hawley

Katelyn Aubrey Heiman

Christopher Ellis Heishman

Katie Melissa Henriquez

Fatima Hernandez-Ayquipa

Connor William Herron

Oscar Antonio Hidalgo Castillo

Alexis Noel Hijar

Meaghan Kelsey Hill-Lugo

Ian Franklin Marshall Hodges

Katherine Paige Hoelzl

Dana Jeffrey Horton-Geer

Jacquelyn Elaine Horvath

Hanna Ellyn Horwitz

Joseph Khiem Hosi

Ceasar Elias Padua Howe

Karl Thomas Howley

Ellen Kei Huber

Joseph Brady Hughes

Alaa Omar Hummad Gimi

Salman Mohammed Hussein

Son Ly Ngoc Huynh

Naiemul Islam

Vijay G. Iyer

David Ahmad Jelis

Emily Rose Jenkins

Kara Ann Jeong

Austin Neil Jobson

Allison Marie Johnson

Tyquan Quantae Johnson

Esquteasha Sieata Leslie Johnson-Kidd

Yasmeen June-Alice Jones

Zoe Kelsy Jones

Robel-Desalegn Kabtyimer

Christian Joseph Kalinowski

Spencer Joshua Kalman

Adam Charles Kanode

Sarah Kanu

Philip Maximiliano Katz

Alexander Jacob Kaufman

Serigne Mahanta Kebe

Cheyenne Nicole Keeter

Gabrielle Jade Keuper

Obayi Abdulmoneim Khalid

Talib Ali Khan

Kyle Bert King

Ericka Tatiana Kinsey

Tyler Sugino Kirk

David Stephan Klein Martinez

Joshua David Kobayashi

Sneha Kuchipudi

Mariel Alyse de Leon Kurland

Emma Dufie Kyei

William Ernesto Lainez Rivera

Colin Christian Kammerer Lamoureux

Ryan Randolph LaPorte

Vanessa Yamileth Lazo

Kimberly Ngan Le

Jalen Amoz Leacock

Jonathan Robert Lee

Talia Lee

Tavarius Randolph Yati Lee

Andrew James Legge

Abraham Dejesus Lemus Henriquez

Alexander Joseph Leonhard

Josaphat Levi Letona

Jacky Michca Leupeu Mejiadeu Kameni

Julian Simon Levy-Myers

Colleen Paige Lewis

Joe Li

Jing Xiang Lim

Yenifer Lisseth Linares Mejia

Brian Frank Linovitz

Madison Renee Lintner

Abigail Marie Lloyd

Jacob Laurence Loehr

Timothy Charles Logan

Joshua Quinton Long

Arturo Lopez Orellana

Lesly Lopez Orellana

Katherine Manssiel Lopez Quintero

Andrea Iliana Lopez Savinon

Samuel Enrique Lopez-Giron

Gabrielle Elizabeth Lozama

Jordan Alise Lozama

Pauline Gilmer Lynch

Hendrik Moes Ma

Michelle Ven-Sen Ma

Kaylyn Ann Macaluso

Tyler William Macaluso

Ted Mooney Madden

Sarah Adnan Madi

Caitlyn Tansey Maginniss

Aryan Mahdi

Osiris Sarai Majano Saravia

Kriszta Ilona Major

Michael Malone

Alyssa Hongsha Maring

Jonah Warren Markowitz

Christopher Patrick Marshall

Kayla Dominique Martin

Paola Noemi Martinez

Erick Martinez Galvan

Micah Jude Bienfang Mastrovito

Kevin Osmaldo Mata Rodriguez

Connor Manuel Matthes

Taylor Patricia Mauceri

Dominique Kaleel May

Angela Susanna McCarthy

Alyson Louise McCarty

Andrew Charles McCool

Katherine Deborah McCool

Kareem Ali McCoy

Michael Joseph McDermott

Luke Robert McGee

Molly Nicole McGrath

Ryan Michael McLain

John Alexander McLellan

Geofferson Eric McNeese

Cassidy Nicole Mechalske

Shannon Margaret Meehan

Tesfamariam Mamo Mehrete

Gabrielle Maria Meixner

Karl Philip Mellen

Christopher Yashet Mercado

Clay Robert Randall Mickiewicz

Brian Jefferson Miles

Brianna Michelle Miles

Sean David Miller

Taylor Jean Mills

Diana Claire Minnix

Ebony Samone Blackwell Mitchell-Goodfellow

Panashe Tanyaradzwa Mnyulwa

Morsal Mohamad Akbar

Ali Mohamed Ali Mohamed

Ekhlas Mohamed Ali Mohamed

Morsel Mohammad Osman

Rana Mahmoud Elsayed Mohammed

Arya Moin-Amin

Dara Moin-Amin

Alyssa Ann Monfredo

Samuel Abisai Monge Henrriquez

Trey McKinley Montague

Jennifer Lexi Montes

Maria de los Angeles Morales Orellana

Tucker James Morgan

Cierra Tatianna Morrison

Sabrina Ellora Muldrow

Steven Carl Muldrow Jr.

Alexander Joseph Muller-Thym

Madeleine Colette Murphy-Neilson

Tasneen Naeem

Jacquelina Chiara Nagle

Ricardo Mutsuo Nakamura

Rakesh Nalli

Sabrina Nasir

Jacob Alexander Manuel Nassau

Alexander Terry Neely

Kara Noelle Nelson

Brenda Lynon Nguemgne Kamga

Khoa Dang Nguyen

Austin David Nicholls

Angelique Gabrielle Nicholson

Samuel Todd Nicol

Claire Catherine Nieusma

Devin Anne Nieusma

Hayne Noh

Jeremiah Edwin No’eau Norman

Helen Rose Noyovitz

Vivian Nyako

Christine Heejin O

Kaelin Gilmore O’Donnell

Natalie Marie Obando

Wendell Maurice Orange

Ebaid Osman Mohamed Osman

Jane Fontaine Oswalt

Elizabeth Mae Owens

Mika Karli Pagani

Jocelyn Arabella Palmer

Jesus Alfredo Pado

Amay Reddy Paripati

Gabrielle Elise Parisi

Derek Jordan Parker

Karlee Alexandra Parker

Michael Thomas Paros

Saray Abigail Danae Partidas Rivas

Neelam K. Patel

Zachary David Pearl

Annais Michelle Pena Santiago

Monica Amelia Perez

Alexander Andreevich Petrov

Madeline Dale Planton

Rony Estuardo Polanco Rivera

Sydney Vannae Ponder

Levi Marcus Prudhomme

Charles Walter Quinn

Unzila Qureshi

Sudaba Rahimi

Elise Lynn Rakoff

Maria Guadalupe Ramirez Juarez

Kinza Rauf

Rohana Raufi

Rakesh Kumar Raveendran

Neel Ravishankar

Terressa Rebecca Rayle

Comfort Cienna Reed

Hazel Sofie Reges

Katherine Victoria Rensel

Rhina Gabriela Reyes Granados

Sweetlove Reyes-Pleitez

Joseluiz Reymoso Avalos

Victoria Elizabeth Rice

Avery Webster Robinson

Phylicia Iman Robinson

Valencia Alisha Robinson

Valerie Pauletta Robinson

Maya Linsey Rodriguez

Ortila Catalina Rodriguez

Anthony Emmanuel Rodriguez-Escalona

Kathleen Adelle Roherty

Alexa Lauren Rolph

Jordan Darius Rose

Nathan Elliott Rosner

Catherine Ada Rugari

Mateo Andre Rul

Nathan Yu Rulona

Aaron Yarbrough Rutherford

Richard Lee Ryan

Sami Naseem Saab

Jose Andres Saavedra Zambrana

Fatema Safi

Mawadda Salah Said Ahmed

Tehmeena Seher Salahin

Reem Kamal Salih

Nicole Jeanette Salvatore

Jena Marwan Samman

Alondra Sanchez Munoz

Cesar Alberto Sanchez Reyes

Alexandra Sanchez-Ovaje

Asley Nicole Sandoval Castro

Laith Salah Sanjak

Caroline Louise Sartorius

Julian Alexandre Sauvage

Natalie Danielle Schauer

Taylor Edward Schrembs

Natalie Paige Schwarzkopf

Alexandra Leigh Sedgwick

Samantha Marie Sedgwick

Jordin Cristine Servey

Jonah Rogers Shahid

Ali Ahmed Sharaf

Megan Sharifi

Ryan Sharifi

Denisha Ann Sheppard

Jerrell Franklin Sheppard

Daniel Youngkwang Shin

Dora Lillian Shprentz

Hanna Shukran

Tiffany Anne Shye

Manaal Fatima Siddiqui

Jonathan Hayes Sieber

Robert Rock Simmons

Amar Rohin Singh

Harleen Singh

William John Sipher

Amanaki LeLei Ki Moana Siuhengalu

Zachary Matthew Skeen

Tania Monae Smiley

Hope Elizabeth Smith

James McAlister Sogandares

Daniel Young Gun Song

Sohum Mahesh Sontakke

Kaitlin Nicole Soto

Jacob Robert Spiewak

Amy Kathlyn Springfield

James Odysseus Van Der Loo Stassinos

Nathaniel Anthony Russell Stone

Kyra Brooke Stosch

Ghais Suliman

Brent Michael Sullivan

Lily Elizabeth Swartz

Ross Martin Taylor

Amanda Ching-Yee Teh

Amy Lorraine Terrien

Brandon Rashaun Terry

Sahana Rajeswari Thirumazhusai

Cole Tyler Thomas

Katherine Grace Thomas

Kaung Myat Thu

Jacqueline Lee Trautman

Jesse Robert True

Evelyn Sofia Turcios

Todd Irvin Turner, Jr.

Erin Alexis Ujueta

Hadiya Marie Upshaw

Maria Victoria Urioste Talamas

Pablo Ignacio Urioste Talamas

Christian Lawrence Vagonis

Gina Allesandra Valentino

Christopher Manuel Valenzuela

Jair Ernesto Valenzuela

Willem Owen Van Engen

Hector Jeremy Vargas

Joel Antonio Velasquez Guevara

Lyric Evangeline Venable

Sara Terese Vigen

Jennifer Paola Villa

Jocelyn Odalis Villafani

Martina DelMarie Vinas-Rike

Christopher Jarad Virnig

Lilyanne Olivia Vogelson

Anya Marie Walker

Rodney Raydell Walker Jr.

Brentan Vanier Walter

Harman K. Waraich

Athena Yolanda Washington

Kendra Carllyssia Watkins

Ilija Journor Watson

Samantha LeAnna Webb

Collin Austin Weirick

Brienne Michele Welch

Ashley Marie Welker

John Harrison Westenhoff

Asia-Aylana Simone White

Delaney Helen Wickman

Gracelyn Ann Willard

Alison Shand Willebeek-LeMair

David Allison Wilmer

Halle Marie Wilson

Josephine Lynn Wnek

Matthew Conner Wojciechowski

Christopher Andrew Wolf

Katherine Lynne Wolfe

Sarah Alexandra Wood

Chloe Marie Cruz Wright

Neiko Mariell Wright

Lina Diwei Wu

Matab Seifeldin Yasin

Amanda Ju-Young Yi

Kellye Morgan Young

Sophia Nadia Yu

Christopher John David Zaboji

Adam Azim Zaman

Hamidullah Zamani

Saba Zamani

Samantha Ali Zambrano

Andrew Scott Zimmerman