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PHOTOS: Smiles and Cheers Abound at Parkdale Graduation

Scenes from the Class of 2012's big day.

Hundreds of seniors garbed in green and yellow robes graduated Thursday morning in ’s graduation ceremony.

The ceremony, held at University of Maryland’s Comcast Center, was a celebration of the students’ accomplishments, and an appeal to succeed in either higher education or the workforce.

Principal Cheryl J. Logan gave the keynote address, highlighting the school’s diverse background.  She implored students to “fit no stereotypes,” a quote by former Secretary of State Colin Powell printed on the students’ academic agendas during the school year.

“Did you know that as you move to college and the world of work, many people will put you in box because of your background?” Logan said.  “They will take one look at your skin color, your name, or your beautifully accented speaking voice, and in the blink of an eye, determine your potential or lack thereof. You, however, and only you, have the potential to look them in the eye, smile, and say, ‘bigger box please.”

Students after the ceremony exchanged hugs and words of encouragement.

“It’s inspiring! I feel accomplished,” Nzingha Brown, a new Parkdale High School graduate, said.  “I’ve been waiting for this day all my life.  I just feel like all my hard work, all the days studying, homework all the time, on the phone asking for help—it’s all showing now.”

Superintendent of the Prince George’s County School System William R. Hite Jr. attended the ceremony, as well as Peggy Higgins, the vice chair of Board of Education for district 2. 

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