St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School celebrated the Commencement of 118 graduates on June 12 from the Class of 2021.
Graduates celebrated their achievements, friendships, and experiences at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes during their Commencement ceremony held on June 12 at the Upper School Moss Field.
In addressing her classmates, Valedictorian Adrienne Lai ‘21 shared how accomplished her classmates were during their time at SSSAS. “I admire how everyone in this grade is extremely driven and excels in all they do. In the past four years, members of our class have won lacrosse, basketball, field hockey, soccer, and tennis championships, created portraits of residents at Sunrise Senior Living Home, have had their theatre reviews published in local news outlets, competed on “It’s Academic,” served as members of SCORE, and qualified for the FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics World Championship. They’ve been nominated for Cappies awards, led in-person and virtual tours, played instruments in the pit orchestra, broken swim and track records, had artwork on display in the Don Beyer Congressional Exhibit, traveled to other countries, published editions of The Voice and Traditions, performed holiday concerts in Pentagon Mall, scored 1,000 career points in basketball, and graphed thousands of equations to create images of Winnie the Pooh, Vector from Despicable Me, and an Engineer from the game Warhammer. They’ve raised money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, taught students as members of Panda Friends and Student Tutors, trained service dogs for veterans, and helped nurture baby turtles. Fire and Stones received the highest award given in the nation and 36 students will play their sport in college.”
At Upper School Prize Day, Adrienne received The Mathematics Award, The Courtenay Marshall Cochran Award for Science, The Salisbury Cup, and The Saint Agnes Cup. Additionally, for her research into diversity and inclusion in the workforce at national tech companies, she received the STEM Graduation Certificate. She will be attending MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall.
The SSSAS Class of 2021 was collectively accepted to more than 200 colleges and universities in the U.S. and in Canada, England, Scotland, and Spain. Academic honors include two National Merit Finalists, 14 commended scholars, and 24 seniors inducted into the Cum Laude Society. Thirty-six athletes will be continuing with their sports at the collegiate level, representing eight sports.
The Commencement speaker was Montez Anderson, Class of 1993. Montez currently serves as the President & CEO of Constella Solution, Inc. Constella Solutions is a full-service public affairs, business development, and strategic consulting firm. He has also served as a well-respected political adviser to Congressional members in the Senate and House, Governors, Mayors, and County Executives, giving him a breadth of knowledge and access on the Federal, State, and Local levels. Additionally he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University.
From 2008-2016, Montez served on the Alumni Association Board, including four years as the Alumni Board President. Under his leadership, the alumni board carried out its own strategic plan and initiated several affinity groups including the very successful Legal Affinity Group and the Alumni of Color Affinity Group. Montez then joined the Board of Governors in 2017 and has sat on the Advancement Committee and most recently the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee, while continuing to tighten the bonds between the Alumni Board and our Board of Governors.
Montez and his wife, Dr. Kelly Epps Anderson, currently reside in Washington, D.C., and Montez will become a first-time dad in the next few weeks-- congratulations to Montez and Kelly!
In his address to the graduates, he gave advice for college and beyond. “As I stand before you today, graduates, I’m going to proclaim that true success is living life without regrets. And as we celebrate the commencement of the beginning of the rest of your lives, I ask that you make a promise to yourself today, that you will NOT live a life of, WHAT IF…..What if I listened to my VOICE? what if I chased my DREAM?, what if I had taken that RISK? What if “I” had BELIEVED in “MY” abilities? What if I had TRUSTED myself? What if I had SIMPLY been patient? No...Take control of your destiny….and as the screenwriters of YOUR story, play that leading role with God and Faith as your guide.”
Head of School Kirsten Adams, Chair of the Board of Governors Clayton Perfall, and Upper School Director Michael Mallett presented the graduates with their diplomas. The ceremony included a performance by the Senior Chorale and the annual bagpipe recession.
The SSSAS faculty, staff, administrators, family, and friends celebrate the accomplishments of the St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School Class of 2021 and look forward to hearing of their future successes!