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Momentous Occasions

by Katie Lillard, Director of Enrollment and Communications

This May, Wye River Upper School celebrated not only senior graduates during the 2024 Commencement Ceremony but also recognized the promotion of the first 8th-grade class as official high school students. 

On the morning of May 21st, Wye River Upper School celebrated nine graduates inside the school’s main campus at the Centreville Armory. The Class of 2024 received diplomas from Head of School Stephanie Folarin, Assistant Head of School Nicole Sophocles, and Board Chair Nikki Williams. Macyn Poag, Wye River Upper School Class of 2020, shared an alumni address. Director of Maryland Park Services Ranger Angela Crenshaw delivered the commencement address for the Class of 2024, urging students to trust their instincts and to be true to their authentic selves as they face important decisions. Ranger Crenshaw described her previous work with the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park as instrumental in shaping her personal and professional values and is guided by Tubman’s values of selflessness, bravery, and humility. “As a Maryland Park Ranger, I lead with my heart forward, just like Ms. Tubman and her team of supporters on the underground railroad. If you can, I suggest you do the same.” Graduates will attend the University of Central Florida, St. Mary’s of Maryland Honors College, A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland College Park, Washington College, Maine Maritime Academy, and McDaniel College. Other graduates will enter the United States Marine Corps, work for the Maryland Department of Transportation, and pursue a career as a Yamaha Certified Mechanic for the marine industry. 

But that’s not all! On May 30th, Wye River Upper School’s inaugural 8th-grade class was promoted to high school! Remarks were given by Board Member Robyn Green and Silas P. and Zoe B., members of the Class of 2028.

Founding Head of School Chrissy Aull delivered the Promotion Address, offering words of wisdom to our rising 9th graders and their families:

“It’s now time for each of you to step a fabulous caring high school, in which you may each pursue the visions and dreams that you hold for yourselves. Now, and in this place, is an opportunity for you to take bold steps and good risks. You are safe here, and the adults in this building will support your dreams and help you find your way," said Mrs. Aull.

Turning her attention to the parents, Mrs. Aull recognized their support, saying, "You are trailblazers. You are staunch champions of your students. Because of your instincts and your determination, you now usher your child through the doors of high school, behind which is a better way and a happier child."

These celebrations are a testament to what flexibility and support offer gifted minds who think differently. Our recent graduates enter the world equipped with the necessary tools to begin their next chapter, and our now-9th graders will enter their high school experience knowing their value and capabilities. Congratulations to all!


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