Matoaca High School’s 46th commencement exercises confirmed 393 graduates during its ceremonies last Thursday. Sam Kennedy, valedictorian for the 2011 graduating class of Matoaca High School, said to his classmates that the difference between this class and every other graduating class was about being a warrior and a family. As class president, Kennedy has led his peers for the last three years. With a grade point average of 5.1525, he received several scholarships prior to the commencement exercises, leading him to the College of William & Mary to study government. Kennedy was also recipient of the Superintendent’s Award for Academic & Citizenship which included a $1,000 check from an anonymous donor. Senior Class Vice President Sidney Gafford was also a recipient of the Superintendent’s Award and received a $1,000 check.
Before presenting the above awards, Dr. Marcus Newsome, superintendent of Chesterfield County Schools, spoke to the class saying, “This is a history making class,” he said. “Not the largest, but this class had the highest numbers of student enrollment in dual enrollment and college placement courses. One hundred fifty-six seniors have earned enough credits to enter college as a second semester freshmen or sophomore status.” He went on to highlight their achievements over the year, including the establishment of a Virginia honor band, a first for the high school; for having the largest food drive in the history of the school for the Christmas Mother program, and commending the success of the football, baseball and softball teams.
Derek Drake was the class salutatorian with a grade point average of 4.8. In his address to the class he reflected on the friendships he built in sports and the classroom. He will be attending Messiah College, working towards a degree in Physical Therapy.
Also speaking were Matoaca School Board representative Omarh Rajah and Dale School Board representative David Wyman.