George Mason High School sent 140 seniors out into the world yesterday, with a graduation ceremony held at DAR Constitution Hall.
The graduates, along with their family and friends, heard speeches from fellow classmates Matthew Baker, Anne Briggs and Daniel Drawbaugh, all of whom were named Valedictory Scholars for having maintained a 4.0 grade point average throughout their entire high school career, including the current semester.
The event was also a graduation of sorts for Falls Church City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Lois Berlin, who will be bidding the school district farewell this month to retire after more than 40 years of service. She was given a diploma along with the graduating class.
The Class of 2011 also heard from FCCPS School Board Chair Joan Wodiska and commencement speaker Pete Geren.
Several students from this graduating class will be going to college in the fall, and many will be assisted by scholarships earned for their outstanding character and accomplishments.
These scholarships have been awarded to the following seniors in the class: The Hoover Prize for Writing, Matthew Baker; The Cay Wiant Teacher Scholarship Fund, Heather Grant; The Cay Wiant Creative Award, Matthew Baker; The John S. Fitch Literary Criticism & Analysis Prize, Mollie Read; The Bob Morrison Photography & Graphics Award, Catherine Camp; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Math & Science Award, Matthew Irvine; The George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) Medal, Christopher Earman; Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award & Scholarship, Lia Cattaneo; Grace Rissetto ESOL Scholarship, Karan Kumar; Maria Elena Nudell Award, Matthew Baker; J. Roger and Patricia A. Wollenberg Memorial Scholarship, Brittany Rorrer; The Beth and Nancy Sprague Spirit of George Mason Award, Catherine Breen and Daniel Drawbaugh; Jessica Blair Szymanski Memorial Scholarship, Alexis Morse and Rachel Hassan; Dana Wood Memorial Scholarship, Hannah Walker; Franklin & Kent Thackrey Memorial Scholarship, Hannah Leopold; Patricia Doyle Memorial Scholarship, Charles DeLeo; The Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Walter Porzel; The Class of 2007 Unsung Hero Award, Veronica O’Rourke; Falls Church Donald S. Frady Memorial Community Service Scholarship, Synneva Elthon; The Society of Gentlemen Scholarship, Matthew Baker; GMHS Alumni Association Scholarship, Alexis Morse; Vicki Galliher Scholarship, Camille Darling; The Robert W. Snee Scholarship, Catherine Breen; Phi Delta Kappa Prospective Educator Scholarship, Matthew Baker; and Falls Church News-Press Scholarship, Walter Porzel.
The Class of 2011 includes three National Merit scholars: Mollie Read, who received a National Merit Scholarship in the nationwide selection process, and Crawford Taylor and Daniel J. Fletcher, who received scholarships financed by the colleges they plan to attend.
This graduating class also includes Paul Bentson Weber, who has accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Following the graduation ceremony, many attended the All Night Grad Celebration at Skyline Sport and Health Club.
(Photos: Graeme Jennings)