Douglass Honors Students
Douglass School honored students at its 12th annual awards assembly on Thursday, May 31st.
Douglass’ principal, Dr. Jack Robinson, listed the collective achievements of the student body before moving on to students’ individual accomplishments. During the 2011-2012 school year, Douglass students:
“This is a great place to be and I’m happy to be here,” said Robinson. “It’s the only reason I’m working because I’m here.”
Senior Mary Scott reflected on her Douglass experience, which began with the Saving Nine program at the end of her freshman year.
“Four years ago, we couldn’t wait to get older…
“Three years ago, we made new best friends, went out with our friends every weekend and thought we were too mature for school dances…
“Two years ago, we realized who our true friends were and cherished the time we spent with them. We found where we fit in, yet still seemed to look for something…Two years ago we still couldn’t wait to get older…
“One year ago, we took the time together for granted…
“Now…we realize that time slipped away and we will soon be saying our good-byes; saying good-bye to our friends, our family, our home maybe for a short time, maybe forever…
“This is the last time we will all be together, recognized as the Class of 2012. Now we’re getting excited about starting over, getting sad about what we’re leaving behind and getting anxious to move on. Now we realize just how important our friends are; how much fun we really did have in these four years. Now we wish we could be younger. We wish we could have taken the time to appreciate every moment.”
Senior James Bonieskie spoke about the misconceptions that surround Douglass, Loudoun’s alternative school for high school and middle school students.
“When I first came here, I was terrified. I thought it was a school for people who were fresh out of jail.”
Bonieskie said he was surprised by the friendly attitude of students and staff.
“I realized Douglass is not a place for troubled kids; it’s not a place for kids who got kicked out of their home schools. It’s a place for kids who are just a little bit different from everyone else. It’s a place for kids who didn’t quite fit in… at their home school.
“Douglass is an amazing place… It’s a place where you make great friends and have a wonderful time… It’s the teachers and the staff and everyone who works here that really make the difference.”
Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick III commended the students for taking a chance to overcome adversity.
“Throughout life, you’re going to meet adversity. Some of you have already met adversity, but I guarantee you that you have not met all the adversity you will meet as you live out your life here on Earth. The important thing is what happens to you when you meet adversity.
“I think the fact that you’re in this school demonstrates that you and your parents and those that advise you know that when you meet adversity you have to look for opportunity. But sometimes you can look hard for opportunity and not find it there. In that case, you have to create opportunity.”
One of the highlights of the assembly was a poetry slam featuring English teacher George Kitchen, Robinson and seniors Austin Shuff and Jared Rose Kitchen. (For the record, Robinson’s contribution to the slam was the lyrics to the first verse of “Hotel California.”)
John Abboud was recognized during the assembly for being the first student twice elected Douglass’ SCA president.
The following awards also were presented:
Shelly A. Marshall Short Story Award
Bayan Atari and Richard Gallo
Raymond and Gracie LaPoint Award
Robby Nigh, Claudia Maldonado and Samuel “Sky” Gualtieri
Curtis Alley Scholarship
Frederick Douglass Scholarship
School Board members attending the awards ceremony included Tom Reed (At-Large), Debbie Rose (Algonkian District) and Brenda Sheridan (Sterling District).