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Montgomery High School Graduates 386 Students During a Heat Wave

By Barbara A. Preston | Posted on June 27, 2024


It felt like 100 degrees outside, but it was cool inside the Cougars gymnasium, where Superintendent Mary McLoughlin and Principal Heather Pino-Beattie distributed 386 diplomas to deserving graduates on June 19.

MHS STUDENT COUNCIL. From left: Co-President Diya Sareen (University of Florida); Co-President Michelle Sun (University of Maryland); and Vice President Sarah Griesinger (William & Mary University).


The evening began with the traditional processional music, “Pomp and Circumstance.” Shail Bhalla sang the “Star Spangled Banner,” followed by immense applause. Next, Senior Class President Mathivanth Veerachamy, welcomed parents, faculty and guests. Veerachamy joked about how he tried to use ChatGPT to help him write his commencement speech. He spoke of the importance of resilience, and his wish for a time machine, so that he could relive his school days in Montgomery.


It was Salutatorian Nicholas Kang who brought tears to the eyes of many parents, when he advised his peers to appreciate small, everyday moments. “Before you know it, these will slowly disappear,” he said. “You may not have known that by the time you head off to college, you’ll already have spent 90% of the time you’ll ever spend with your parents.”


From left: Valedictorian Arjun Sharma and Salutatorian Nicholas Kang.


Valedictorian Arjun Sharma spoke next. His speech highlighted and lauded his classmates. “When I look into this crowd of graduates, I see the next generation of diplomats who will further world peace, scientists who will develop revolutionary technologies, and individuals who will give it their all to put a smile on someone else’s face,” he said. “I don’t have to tell you to strive to embrace the concept of resilience, or embrace failure, or to take risks. We already learned these concepts during our time at Montgomery.” “We dream big, and we work as hard as we can to take those big dreams a reality. That’s the Cougar spirit.”


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The final speaker was Principal Heather Pino, who also focused on the graduates. “You are simply amazing human beings who choose to do the right thing, even when no one is looking.”

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