Distinguished graduates 2018 motivate students in assembly

November 19, 2018

On November 20, members of the LHS Class of 2022, staff, honorees and family members attended the 2018 Distinguished Graduate Ceremony.

The Distinguished Graduate Ceremony is an annual event presented by the Distinguished Graduate Organization. It is supported by LHS as well as the LHS Alumni Association and the LHS Student Government Association (SGA). Each year, six honorees are selected to be inducted as Distinguished Graduates. They are alumni who have excelled in their life after LHS.

The honorees this year are Robert “Bo” Eskay (’83), Athletics; Mike Chavez (’82), Academics; Shannon Grubby Hammond (’99), Business; Dr. Curtis Asbury (’01), Sciences; Col. David Meyer (’90), Public Service; and Karen Ellison Seyler (’82). Arts & Humanities.

The ceremony began with the Brass Ensemble playing the national anthem from the rear balcony of the auditorium. The heart of the assembly was when the six honorees each spoke about their lives and what current students can do to prepare for success.

Business honoree Shannon Grubby Hammond talked about perspective. “Falling short doesn’t mean failure–it means earning your stripes,” she said. She told a personal story about being the only cheerleader in front of a group of students at a homecoming pep rally.

Karen Ellison Seyler, honoree for Arts & Humanities, ended her speech with a simple but powerful statement: “Follow your dreams.”

Each honoree was introduced by a member of the Class of 2012.  The honorees received a Lancer Pin of Distinction, an award plaque, and a citation from the Governor’s Office.

There were ten student speakers this year: Denver Brown, Daniel Etherton, Aidan Bruce, Mary Bailey, Emily Watson, India Ismael, Sam Johnson, Chris Ramirez, Bradley Rose, and Kelly Alt.

The honorees took a tour of the building and were then escorted to classrooms by student leaders.  Each honoree visited two classrooms.

While visiting teacher Natalie Rebetsky’s journalism class, Sciences honoree Dr. Curtis Asbury offered the advice, “If you want to be unique, just be yourself.”

Public service honoree Col. David Meyer said, “You can’t ever be less than dependable.”

Distinguished Graduate Honoree Chavez encourages students to “build a permanent resume”

On November 20, Linganore honored six Distinguished Graduates for their achievements in the categories of Business, Academics, Public Service, Sciences, Arts & Humanities, and Athletics. Mike Chavez, Class of ‘82, received the Academics Award for his achievements. He is currently the Athletic Director at Governor Thomas Johnson High School, but he has worked at many FCPS schools. He was a teacher and coach Linganore.

He was accompanied by his wife, Geri Chavez, his parents, and one of his daughters, Lindsay. Mrs. Chavez said, “He’s always been my favorite Lancer!”

At the assembly, Chavez said, “You should always remember those around you that are along the way and their support.”

When the ceremony concluded, the graduates were given a tour of the school each accompanied by SGA members. Chavez was accompanied by  SGA Vice President Jacob Orlando.

When their tour was finished, each graduate spoke in two classrooms, during the first and second lunch shifts. Chavez first went to Mrs. Samira Diggs’ room and he talked about how to succeed.

One student asked, “Do you have any regrets?”

Chavez answered, “I don’t particularly have any regrets because, even if I did, they’re only minor. This is because I’m happy at where I’m at in life, and I try to do my best for everything.”

After Diggs’ class, Chavez went to Mr. Matthew Kronk’s room to speak to a ninth grade English class.

Chavez told the class, “I think the biggest thing to understand is that right now you are building your permanent resume. Everything you’re doing now is being recorded and written on that permanent resume, and it will impact your future.”

Distinguished graduate honoree-David Meyer chooses dependability above all


Braden Weinel

Colonel David Meyer gives commendable advice to freshman class

Colonel David Meyer was honored with the Distinguished Graduate award for Public Service at the ceremony on November 20. During the ceremony, Meyer talked to the freshman students about his experiences in high school and gave them wise advice about how to dig deep and be great at what you love.

Meyer said “Be you. I was the only one of my friends who didn’t play sports in high school. When you choose to do something, do all of it and be great at it.”

Meyer also talked about the opportunities students get as they grow up and the great life habits they can learn in high school. He spoke about his life now and how he sometimes reminisces on his teenage years.

 Linda Meyer, David’s mother, is very proud of her son.

She said, “In my eyes, he is a hero.”

After the ceremony, Meyer and his guests visited two classes before attending the luncheon catered by Frisco’s with the rest of the honorees. Meyer first visited Mr. Burch’s American Studies 2 class. Since Meyer has been in the military for 24 years, he gave a first-hand view of what the students are currently learning in class. Meyer also was available to answer questions.

Meyer then visited the journalism class. There he spoke about his specific jobs in the military and the reasoning behind his choice to join the army. Meyer gave exceptional advice for students to use going forward.

“Being dependable is your number one goal,” said Meyer.

One thing in particular that Meyer talked about was how it feels to be back at Linganore. He remembers a lot, but a lot has changed as well. Meyer talked about his perception is very different but he’ll never forget his high school.

“Linganore is a place I remember fondly, but it’s not my place anymore, the last time I was here was 28 years ago,” said Meyer.


Bo Eskay’s passion for local soccer earns Distinguished Graduate Award in Athletics 2018

Robert Eskay Jr., a 1983 graduate, is the 2018 Distinguished Graduate in Athletics. He is the founder of FC Frederick, a local soccer organization.  Eskay’s family is very involved in FC Frederick. All five of his students have played soccer with the club and have continued their athletic career in college. Both Eskay and his wife Jackie have volunteered their time to help the club in any way.

Eskay has devoted a lot of time to FC Frederick to teach the players the game they love. With his knowledge and experience, he is one of the most qualified coaches to help not only improve the skills of the players but the club as well.

The organization is in the planning stages of building a soccer facility on Barthlow’s Road.

Eskay excelled in soccer during his time in high school. He was awarded Player of the Year, 1st Team All-State, 1st Team All-County, and All-MVAL. His love for the game helped shaped his career with FC Frederick.

Eskay participated in both soccer and basketball but focused on soccer his senior year. He was also involved with the Student Government Association (SGA) from 7th grade to 12th grade. He was the class president his senior year.

“Life’s not easy, but if it was, what would be the fun in that?”

— Bo Eskay

After graduating from the College of William and Mary, he focused on his career in law until he was given the opportunity to found and manage FC Frederick.

Eskay’s life interwoven with the Frederick community. He cares for the kids and always looks for new ways to help the kids grow in the game of soccer.

Eskay’s advice to help the freshmen through high school was to help them better handle a tough situation.

While touring the school, Eskay was shocked by how much the building had changed since his high school days.  Dominic Barbagalo, SGA President, accompanied Eskay throughout the day.

“He is a driven man who quit his high-paying job to pursue what he loves in life, which is extremely admirable,” said Barbagallo.

During the third block, Eskay visited two physical education classes. He gave the students advice to use during high school and beyond.

“Get outside of your comfort zone and take advantage of everything that is offered in high school,” said Eskay. “Being open to friendships and relationships with a wide variety of kids can definitely help down the road.”




Sciences honoree Asbury recommends “Be different, Be quirky”


Curtis Asbury talks to the journalism class.

Dr. Curtis Asbury is the Distinguished Graduate organization honoree in sciences 2018. He received the recognition on November 20, 2018.

At the ceremony, each honoree spoke to the Class of 2022. Asbury’s speech emphasis was “where you came from, where you are, and where you are going.” He talked about the past by saying “when I was in your seats, I did not think I could do what I do today.” He told the students not to put limits on themselves and being well-rounded is the key to being successful.

When he talked about the present, he said “Always be yourself. Be vulnerable. Put yourself out there.” He told the students about when he is working in the medical field he has to be himself and earn the trust of his patients. Without their trust, there is no way he can treat his patients properly.

Asbury Ended the speech with an open-ended question about the future. He said “So where am I going, that’s not important. Where are YOU going?”

Asbury was accompanied by his father Dane Asbury. His father said, “He is not afraid to be himself.” Dane Asbury describes Asbury’s competitive nature as an advantage, especially when Curtis tried to outdo his brother.

After the ceremony was over, the Vice President of SGA, Luke Goundry, gave Asbury and his father a tour around the school. Then Goundry guided Asbury to a journalism and science classes, where Asbury gave advice and answered any questions the students had. In the journalism class, Asbury shared the importance of being well-rounded. Asbury said, “My patients don’t care about my SAT grades or my GPA. They care about how they can relate to me and trust me to help them.” The biology class was not very concerned about the life lessons he had, but about the medical encounter, he has seen.

Biology student Elizabeth Rajnik said, “I thought it was so interesting to hear about the success of someone who graduated from the same place I will graduate from. It was really inspiring how he got to where he is now and how he even owns his own practice.”

Asbury and his father ended their visit with lunch in the Learning Commons, catered by Friscos.

Distinguished Graduates 2018: Karen Ellison-Seyler honored in Arts & Humanities for her achievements in music

On November 20, the Distinguished Graduate Organization recognized six graduates for their achievements in Business, Academics, Public Service, Sciences, Arts & Humanities, and Athletics. Karen Ellison-Seyler, member of the class of 1982, is the 2018 Distinguished Graduate honoree in Arts & Humanities.

During her time at Linganore, Seyler dedicated the majority of her time to the arts. She participated in choir and her own band, Hydra. During her presentation during the ceremony, Seyler talked about how her differences made an impact during high school.

“I was the only girl in my woodshop class. That was my thing. This [high school] is the opportunity to try new things. Do something that interests you. Be different,” Seyler said.

This motto carried Seyler through her music career. She worked as a lab technician but knew that she couldn’t spend the rest of her life completing monotonous tasks. Despite what others said or thought, Seyler pursued her love of music and started an 80’s tribute band, The Reagan Years.

Seyler discussed how the band didn’t want to limit themselves to a single genre of 80’s music, but to represent the entire era. They were the first band of this style, making it very hard to find people to believe in them and help them get started. She also talked about how music has helped her meet new people, including her husband.  

After the ceremony was over, Seyler, her husband Sy, and her son Sebastian, a current student at Linganore, went on a tour of the school with SGA vice president Ashley Perise and class of 2021 president Morgan Miller.

Their first stop, predictably, was Mr. Kevin Lloyd’s band class. Seyler wandered throughout the room and discussed the impact that music had on her life and asked about the students’ experiences.

The members of the SGA then led Seyler to Ms. Mary Troxel’s ninth grade English class. Students asked her questions regarding her musical talents and about her performances.

Seyler said, “I would say that one of the biggest performances we have done was at President Trump’s inauguration. He wasn’t there, but it was still a big deal.”

The group then finished the tour of the school and stopped in multiple classrooms to talk to various teachers about her accomplishments, before returning to the Learning Commons for lunch.

Lancer Media also published a profile of Seyler in November.

Distinguished Graduate Hammond encourages students to “be present”

On November 20, the Distinguished Graduate Organization recognized six Linganore graduates for their achievements in the areas of Business, Academics, Public Service, Sciences, Arts & Humanities, and Athletics. Class of 1999 graduate Shannon Hammond received the 2018 Distinguished Graduate award for Business. She is the founder of Hammond Law, LLC, a firm that specializes in elder law. In early 2018, she also started a real estate brokerage with her brother, Justin Grubby.

During Hammond’s speech at the Distinguished Graduate ceremony, she had lots of advice for the Class of 2021. She emphasized the importance of perspective when going through high school. In addition to this, she told many stories about her experiences at Linganore and praised the teachers who influenced her.

Hammond talked a lot about how her failures, which seemed devastating at the time but actually helped her in the long run. “Falling short doesn’t mean failure–it means earning your stripes.”

She encouraged students to “stay present in the moment. The things that seem to matter so much won’t matter in a few years.”

After the ceremony, Hammond toured the school with Class of 2019 President Shay Arneson and Class of 2020 President Emily Webb. She visited a sociology class taught by Mr. Darren Hornbeck and an accounting class taught by Ms. Leanne Elsemore. During the tour, students asked questions about her career, how Linganore put her on her path for the future, and her time during high school.

“It was really interesting to hear about someone who is so successful that went to Linganore,” said sociology student junior Khelsa Connolly.

Hammond ended her speech with an important piece of advice for not only the freshmen, but for everyone. “Extend kindness and friendship to people in every group. We are all just human beings trying to live peaceful lives.”

Her dedication to kindness and service proves that she, without a doubt, deserves the title of Distinguished Graduate.

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