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Distinguished Graduate 2021: Philip D. Arnold accepts the Academics award with his engineering achievements
December 3, 2021
Academic awardee Philip D Arnold (Class of 1979) is one of the five graduates honored at the Distinguished Graduate ceremony. Currently teaching CAD architecture and engineering at CTC, Philip Arnold has extensive experience in the field.
In high school, he loved participating in the FFA, NHS, and all mathematics and science opportunities.
During his speech to the Class of 2025, he said, that he could always be found in the math or science rooms. He loved engineering and found his passion here at Linganore.
In addition to earning a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering at Virginia Tech, Arnold spent time at the University of Maryland where he completed his masters of science coursework in systems engineering. Arnold became a Software Engineer and his career followed the path of management, software specialization, engineering, and, eventually, teaching. Philip D. Arnold was selected as a Washington Post Teacher of the Year in 2021.
During the ceremony Arnold’s main message was to find your passion.
“The next four years are going to fly by. The most important thing I think you can do during that time is find out what kind of work you find fulfilling,” said Arnold.
Arnold shared that he was most proud of his engineering accomplishments and the accomplishments of his students. Arnold said, “The system I got to work on right out of college [was implemented] and it gave them 4 hours of warning about a flash flood instead of 45 minutes and the number of fatalities dropped by over 400 people every year.”
He shared that the work of his students is only supported by him. He is a motivator in the students’ lives and that’s it. He accepts the students’ bright ideas and encourages them to make them into something amazing. Arnold has inspired eleven years of engineering students and has helped them find the college/career path that is right for them.
Arnold also spoke about the college advice that he shares with each of his students. “Colleges mainly look for three key things. One third of their evaluation depends solely on GPA. The next third depends on your SAT score.” Arnold explained that when students apply, the aspect that makes the decision is “the final third: your personal story which has developed over these high school years.”
Arnold inspired students to make the most of their high school experience by signing up for events, volunteering, and seeking out opportunities that will help them find their key interests.
“Colleges are looking to give education to people who make their communities better. You really cannot wait until the 12th grade to start volunteering and finding your passion,” said Arnold.
Arnold continued to speak to students after the ceremony concluded and gave them advice to help them chase their dream careers. He spoke in two freshman classrooms and was
given a tour of the school by senior Connor Cunane and sophomore Grace Booth. He also attended a luncheon with the other distinguished graduates where he talked with his peers, family, and students.
“Talking with Mr. Arnold was one of my favorite parts of the ceremony and experience. At the luncheon Grace Booth and I talked with Mr. Arnold about college life and what Grace and I both want to pursue in college. I also talked about current high school life and how that is going to affect college,” said Cunane.
“Arnold’s advice is something to really think about. As a sophomore I still have some time to grow my volunteer hours, and expand my community presence,” said Booth.
To take Arnold’s words and put them to use, “go out, meet someone outside of your social circle, volunteer somewhere new, and most importantly, find your passion in your four years here at Linganore.”