Patriot High School Class of 2014 Acted as True Pioneers

| June 13, 2014 | 0 Comments | Education

Patriot candidates for graduation walk towards their seats.

Last year Patriot High School in Nokesville, Virginia graduated its first senior class. Thursday evening at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, the 11th Prince William High School graduated a class that spent the majority of their high school years at Patriot.

True to their name, the graduates of the Patriot Class of 2014 were real Pioneers, because they helped to define their school and their culture, making an impact on their community for generations to come.

The mood was both celebratory and solemn from the graduation speeches to the choir’s outstanding rendition of “A Bridge Over Troubled Water,” to Senior Class President Jameson Corcoran noting that his school learned to “come together in times of tragedy and triumph.”

In his senior reflection speech, Corcoran celebrated how his class helped to define Red Nation, how they learned “leadership, integrity and pride,” and how they could be proud of all the times they beat Battlefield, even by graduating one day earlier.

A Patriot educator smiles while walking in with students.

However, he told them to aspire to better days, saying that “standardized testing” and cafeteria chicken nuggets should not always constitute the best days of their lives.

Honor student Kathleen Ross reminded everyone how their school’s catchphrase “teamwork, makes the dream-work” has proven to be true.

She said while no one should take driving advice from her (we only hope she improves with age), she would be using driving as a metaphor for life.

On the road of life, she explained there is time to be extremely conscientious, time roll “the windows down, hair flying” and sing at the top of your lungs. And there is time to “drive with your knees,” meaning to take chances, and enjoy the journey.

Salutatorian Gavin Graham said his classmates have pieced together the puzzle of what it means to be a Patriot Pioneer, mainly by creating the schools “moral fiber.” In life, there will always be support, but “the bulk of responsibility remains a personal one,” he advised.

Senior Class President Jameson Corcoran delivers the senior reflection speech.

“Patriot is a place that has set us up for success,” Graham told his peers. And to continue to be successful, he suggested they measure their time not in days, but in hours, realizing every hour is precious.

“Our generation has a fire in our heart, and a jump in our step,” he said.

While today they might feel invincible, he said to allow the finality in life to guide them to make the most of it.

“Don’t live as others think you should,” Graham said, but “follow your passion” which can neither be measured in “grade point averages” nor  in “dollars.”

Valedictorian Nader Maharmeh began his speech by thanking his mother for her “constant nagging, which he took as encouragement.” He said it must have worked, otherwise how else would he have been standing there at the podium.

He told his classmates that while they should be proud of their achievements, they have “simply passed the easiest stage of our lives.”

“Yesterday was our childhood. Adulthood awaits,” Maharmeh told them.

He noted they are a diverse group from different schools, states and even countries. Nonetheless, they came together and “created a legacy for future Pioneers to follow.” He said he was proud that Patriot became the “place to begin our lives’ purposes.”

Dr. Michael Bishop congratulates a new Patriot High School graduate.

Patriot Principal Dr. Michael Bishop also spoke to graduates, advising them to rise to any challenge and be leaders wherever they go.

He said he is proud they have helped to put Patriot High School “on the map.” This year, the school had ranked in the top percent of schools in the Washington Post Challenge Index. And despite being overcrowded, Patriot has proven that “architectural design,” coupled with a dedicated student body and staff, produces educational excellence.

Bishop said his students have excelled in everything from A.P. exams to athletics and community involvement. They will be attending top universities, and even the Culinary Institute of America. Other graduates would be joining the military or entering the workforce.

He advised his graduates to strive not only for themselves, but to be a “positive influence on others.” He told them to always “be daring, be bold” and be “unique.”

As they have created a lasting impact on Patriot, he asked them to “be a ripple of hope for the world.”

The class of 2014, Patriot staff and ceremony guests at Jiffy Lube Live.

He said to always do what they believe is right, stand up for the rights of others and bring “energy, ideas, leadership and selflessness” to society and the world.

The Patriot graduation was attended by guests of honor Brentsville District Supervisor Wally Covington, School Board Chairman Milt Johns, Brentsville District School Board member Gil Trenum, Gainesville District School Board member Alyson Satterwhite, Occoquan District School Board member Lillie Jessie, and Associate Superintendent for High Schools Michael Mulgrew.

© 2014, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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