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Inspiring Journeys: Laurel Hall’s Hagerstown and Frederick Campuses Honor Graduates

Brook Lane's Laurel Hall School recently held graduation ceremonies celebrating a total of eight well-deserving high school graduates from the 2024 class. Three students graduated from the Hagerstown location, and five from the Frederick location. Each ceremony was unique and captured the spirit of its respective campus.

Hagerstown Ceremony Recognizes Achievements and Character

The Hagerstown graduation ceremony took place on a beautiful day outdoors, with guests witnessing a celebratory processional to honor the graduates. Principal Neena Russel delivered opening remarks, followed by a motivational speech from Director of Pastoral Care, Pastor Ron Shank. Pastor Shank's message acknowledged the challenges the graduates had faced while emphasizing the importance of developing a strong character. He highlighted qualities like compassion, kindness, truthfulness, and generosity, leaving the graduates with a message of hope for their future journeys. Pastor Ron captured the essence of the occasion with this inspiring quote: "The road was not easy but that makes this moment all the sweeter." CEO Jeff O’Neal and Director of Education Services Rachel Hull then presented the diplomas, followed by a celebratory parade with handmade signs, cheers, and noisemakers. A lovely reception with refreshments capped off the ceremony.

Frederick Ceremony Showcases Individual Growth and Aspirations

Principal Cindy Myers opened the Frederick ceremony with welcoming remarks, setting the stage for a celebration of individual journeys. Teachers who had directly interacted with each graduate then took the podium, their speeches filled with heartfelt reflections. One teacher, encapsulating the sentiment of many, spoke about the joy of witnessing growth: "Watching him continue to engage, learn, and grow has been one of the greatest pleasures of my time as a teacher here at Laurel Hall." The graduates themselves then took center stage, sharing their experiences at Laurel Hall. One graduate, reflecting on a challenging past, spoke of the supportive environment that fostered their success: "When I started school here, I didn't feel great about school... Staff and students helped me grow by supporting me even when I was having hard days. I started wanting to come to school." Another student highlighted the positive impact the school had on them: "Here at Laurel Hall, the staff have treated me like a decent human person. They have taken time to help me out with things...Overall, we have had a great time. I think I have grown a little nicer... I am willing to try out new things now."

Their stories were interwoven with acknowledgements of impressive achievements. The ceremony highlighted:

  • Two inaugural recipients of the Laurel Hall Citizen Award, highlighting students with GPAs of 3.0 or better, exemplary behavior, attitudes, and leadership.
  • A graduate receiving the Maryland State Merit Scholastic Award, placing them among the top 5% of graduating seniors.
  • Three students continuing their education at Montgomery College, McDaniel College, and Frederick Community College, with one being Laurel Hall's first-ever dual enrollment student.
  • Another student completing an internship at the Common Market, showcasing their artistic talent and graphic design skills.

The celebration continued with a heartwarming moment where a graduate sang a song reflecting on his cherished high school experience. Following the diploma ceremony, guests enjoyed a reception with a unique menu curated by the graduates themselves, featuring all their favorite food and snacks.

Laurel Hall School's 2024 graduation ceremonies were a testament to the dedication of its staff, the resilience of its students, and the unwavering support of families. Congratulations to the Class of 2024!