Lancer Spotlight 05/24/23: Class of 2023 celebrates accomplishment at graduation ceremony


Aisha Ahmad

Graduate Brady Vlha speaks to the Lingnoare Class of 2023.

by Aisha Ahmad, Reporter

On May 22, Linganore High School (LHS) seniors from the Class of 2023 experienced a memorable milestone, graduating at Mount St Mary’s University. 

This moment was not only special for seniors but for the teachers, family members, friends and special guests who were there to celebrate with them. 

The students’ journey through high school was filled with new opportunities and challenges. In their freshman year, they began to experience learning in a new way due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The graduates were fortunate to return to a normal school year in their junior year.

There were several people and groups that were part of the ceremony to celebrate the seniors and their great accomplishment. 

The LHS Band played “Patriots on Parade” and “Pomp and Circumstance,” while the concert choir performed “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Two members of the Class of 2023, Malia Smaha and Lauren Hackett, shared their own song selection, “A Million Dreams.”

“It’s very nice for seniors to have [a celebration like] that and for us to be there for them,” band member Savannah Macomber said.

Throughout the graduation, speeches were made to inspire the graduates and their plans for the future. 

Speakers included special guests Vice President of the Frederick County Board of Education, Dean Rose, and Frederick County Public Schools’ (FCPS) Superintendent Cheryl Dyson. Both shared helpful advice about and motivation for graduates’ life after high school. 

“Remember the journey doesn’t end here,” Rose said. “Graduation is not the finish line but a stepping stone in your lives.”

Student speaker Brady Vlha also spoke to his fellow graduates. Vlha’s speech asked the graduates to look back and reflect on their elementary and middle school years, before reminiscing about the challenges and achievements of their high school years. 

Speakers including Principal Dr. Michael Dillman and President of the Class of 2023 Hannah Morin also shared remarks and helped to seemlessly transition between performances and speeches throughout the graduation ceremony. 

After speeches were shared, the Dillman presented a special award, The Golden Lance, to a deserving student and staff member. The Golden Lance is an award given to a graduate and member of the faculty who demonstrate the six pillars of character:trustworthiness, care, fairness, respect, responsibility and citizenship. 

The student who received the award was Jack Winkler, and the teacher honored was social studies teacher Joe Hawkins. 

At the ceremony, Principal Dr. Michael Dillman presents The Golden Lance award to teacher Joe Hawkins. (Aisha Ahmad)

Winkler received The Golden Lance in recognition of his involvement in giving back to the Linganore and Frederick communities and making sure everyone is included and involved.

Hawkins received The Golden Lance because of his engagement with students and his positive, energetic spirit and dedication. 

Every moment of the ceremony contributed to one purpose: to celebrate the students’ years of hard work in school and look forward to their next steps in life. Whether they end up in college or join the workforce, students were reminded that they are the next generation that will make the world a better place. 

The ceremony could not have been realized without the teachers and loved ones who served as motivation throughout the years and helped the graduates achieve success.

Thank you to all the teachers, family members and friends who came to celebrate this milestone and cheer on the graduates! 

They waited so long and worked hard to get to that moment and to hear the phrase, “We finally made it,” Vlha said.

It is a motivational phrase that truly showed and celebrated the LHS graduates journey through high school. Congratulations to the Class of 2023!