The 110th commencement of Thomas Dale High School saw 552 graduates receive their diplomas before a large crowd at the Siegel Center.
Interim superintendent Donald Fairheart noted the school received platinum donor status for donating $6,675 toward “The Cure Starts Now,” an anti-cancer fundraising organization.
School board member Carrie Coyner encouraged graduates via video to “bless because you are blessed; love because you are loved.”
Madeline Renault was valedictorian.
Salutatorian Makayla Callender told graduates that “character is who you are; reputation is what others think of you.” Quoting poet Maya Angelou, Callender said, “If you don’t like something, change it; but if you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
“Nothing opens doors more than a smile,” county supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle said.
Fairheart announced the winners of the superintendent’s medal and $1,000 scholarships: Abigail Sloan, who has a 4.5 GPA and was an All-Region field hockey player, and Tiana James, who has a 4.4 GPA and was senior class president.
Principal Pam Lumsden announced that Callender won the J. Wilson Crump Scholarship.
School board chair John Erbach thanked Lumsden, who is retiring, for her service.
Editor’s note: Thomas Dale High School was started in 1906 as Chester High School. The name was changed to Chester Agricultural School in 1910. In 1942, the name was changed again in honor of the state’s first governor. It is Chesterfield County’s oldest high school.