As Garth Bowling, Principal, stated as part of his welcoming speech regarding the schools history, Chopticon was built to unite Benjamin Banneker High School, which was a high school for African American students, with Leonardtown and Margaret Brent High Schools. The name of Chopticon was chosen to remember the Chopticon indians who had lived in the area and who, over time, had assimilated peacefully into other tribes. Mr. Bowling also pointed out two podiums. One to his left and one to his right which were the same podiums used in the Leonardtown and Margaret Brent High School.
Senator Stephen Waugh, Delegate Matthew Morgan and Delegate Deborah Rey from the Maryland General Assembly presented Mr. Bowling with Proclamations from their office and the Governor congratulating Chopticon on it’s 50th anniversary.
As Kelly Elizabeth O’Grady, President of the National Honor Society, had the Top 5% of the class students stand, she also noted over seven million dollars in scholarships had been awarded.
They were followed with remarks from the Salutatorian, Patrick William Capps, Valedictorian, Blake Hill Buckler and Valedictorian Tiffany Marie Thompson.
Following the distribution of diplomas, graduates turned their tassels and received cow bells (significant from the days when the school was known for it’s rural farming connections) from ROTC members sitting alongside the rows. The celebration roared with the familiar tune of the cow bells ringing as the recessional of graduates left the auditorium.
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