Charles Co. Cougar Class of 2021 celebrates high achievements, successes in June 2 ceremony


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The Thomas Stone High School Class of 2021 on June 2 celebrated its accomplishments and triumphs in the culmination of their senior year. The graduation class experienced a senior year unlike any other graduating class before.

In an outdoor graduation ceremony held at Regency Furniture Stadium, 248 members of the Cougar Class of 2021 celebrated the end of their high school career. And crossed the stage to start the next chapter of their lives.

Donned in robes of blue and gold, the graduates arrived to their ceremony and marched on to the stadium field to the traditional high school music of “Pomp and Circumstance.” This year’s graduating class from Thomas Stone is led by Valedictorian Jamie Roberts. The Cougar Class of 2021 salutatorian is Tyler Kelly.

Roberts will attend Frostburg University in the fall, where she will play softball and study political science, and law and society. She aspires to attend law school and become an attorney after she graduates from Frostburg. Kelly was accepted to the University of Maryland, College Park Honors College. As part of his acceptance to UMD, Kelly received a full scholarship offer and plans to study cybersecurity.

In her valedictory address to her peers, Roberts reflected back on their time together in high school. “540 days in school and 133 days spent staring at a screen, well mostly foreheads and ceilings while being stuck on mute, Thomas Stone Class of 2021, we made it,” Roberts said. “As this chapter of our lives comes to a close, let us embrace the memories we have created instead of living in the past. Let us look to the future, bright-eyed and ambitious.”

Thomas Stone Principal Shanif Pearl urged the graduates to remain resilient. “This year we have faced many challenges. Through those experiences our community became a family,” Pearl said. “We have learned to overcome challenges by facing them head on with Cougar Pride. Earning your high school diploma is a major accomplishment — one that will help you build a strong foundation. As I speak, you are framing your future. Remember, you are resilient.”

“I ask that you remember your resilience and find the rainbows in the rain. You all learned that if a plan doesn’t work, make a new plan,” she said. “You are resilience in action. There are challenges ahead of you. I’m asking each of you to meet those challenges with your heart wide open and your head held high.”

Earlier this school year, CCPS worked with the Charles County Government to secure Regency Furniture Stadium for outdoor high school graduations. Due to COVID-19 safety and health guidelines, CCPS had to scale down ceremony activities, including the number of guests who could attend, to follow social distancing and safety measures.

The Class of 2021 from Thomas Stone earned $27,225,939 in scholarship offers this year. This is the highest scholarship amount to date for Thomas Stone graduates.

All 2021 graduations are streamed live at and on the CCPS YouTube channel during the ceremony. Watch recorded ceremonies at

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,000 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event. CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).