Charles County Class of 2019 earns nearly $120 million in scholarship offers

News Release, Charles County Public Schools

The Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Class of 2019 is ready to take center stage during high school graduation ceremonies set to take place May 30-31 and June 1 at the Charles County Convocation Center. This year’s graduating class features 1,997 students receiving either a diploma or certificate and a record number of scholarship offers totaling nearly $120 million.

Class of 2019 valedictorians and salutatorians were announced earlier this week and represent the top academic achievers among graduates at each school. These positions are determined by student grade-point averages. The Class of 2019 earned a total number of $119,857,363 in scholarship offers.

Leading the Henry E. Lackey High School graduating class are co-valedictorians Garrett Batchelor and Samuel Guzzone. Class salutatorian for Lackey is Ashley Herbert.

Batchelor plans to study mechanical engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, better known as Virginia Tech. Guzzone also plans to study mechanical engineering and will begin his undergraduate studies in the fall at the University of Maryland, College Park. Herbert is also an engineering major, but plans to focus on civil and infrastructure engineering. She will attend George Mason University.

La Plata High School Class of 2019 leaders include valedictorian Se Eun “Grace” Na and salutatorian Aashka Patel. In the fall, Na will begin her studies in psychology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Patel will double major in neurobiology and physiology at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Peyton Carney leads the Maurice J. McDonough High School graduating class as valedictorian. She plans to study biomedical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, a private university better known as RPI. Marie Bennett is this year’s salutatorian at McDonough. She plans to study neuroscience in the fall at George Mason University.

The North Point High School Class of 2019 is led by valedictorian Sydney Marohn-Johnson and co-salutatorians Adolf Jerald “A.J.” Accad and Matteo Marchi. All three class leaders plan to major in engineering. Marohn-Johnson will attend Vanderbilt University. Accad will major in mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park and Marchi also plans to attend the University of Maryland, College Park to study engineering.

St. Charles High School senior Stephen Duranske leads the Spartan Class of 2019 as valedictorian. He will attend the University of Maryland, College Park and plans to major in architecture and minor in theater. Katherine O’Meara is class salutatorian at St. Charles. She is set to attend the University of Pittsburgh and plans to major in nursing.

Valedictorian for the Class of 2019 at Thomas Stone High School is William Runyon, and class salutatorian is Chloe Cooke. Runyon plans to major in computer science and philosophy at Georgia State University. Cooke is set to attend Randolph-Macon College and plans to major in mathematics with a double minor in elementary education and Spanish.

The graduating class from Westlake High School is led by valedictorian Migue Darcera and co-salutatorians Krisha Patel and Brianna Wilson. Darcera is taking a gap year after graduation. Patel is set to attend the University of Maryland, College Park and plans to major in economics and finance. Wilson also plans to major in economics and is set to attend Wellesley College.

2019 graduation numbers by school (scholarship totals may increase as offers are received)

Henry E. Lackey High School

·         Total graduates: 240

·         Scholarship offers: $14,600,000

La Plata High School

·         Total graduates: 260

·         Scholarship offers: $12,280,241

Maurice J. McDonough High School

·         Total graduates: 227

·         Scholarship offers: $8,439,001

North Point High School

·         Total graduates: 392

·         Scholarship offers: $24,606,110

St. Charles High School

·         Total graduates: 320

·         Scholarship offers: $23,345,215

Thomas Stone High School

·         Total graduates: 260

·         Scholarship offers: $18,312,180

Westlake High School

·         Total graduates: 298

·         Scholarship offers: $18,274,616

Graduation ceremonies for all high schools are held at the Charles County Convocation Center located at North Point. All ceremonies are streamed live on the CCPS website at For more information, and to view graduation photo galleries, visit the Graduation 2019 section of the school system website at

The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.

To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at

Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II

© 2019 The Southern Maryland Chronicle. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.