Graduation celebrates class of 2023


Photo by Devlin McCarthy

Graduates Josh Mirsky and Max Mirsky celebrate their graduation outside of DAR.

Graduation took place at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., on May 31 at 10 a.m.

Alum Myles Frost participated as a guest speaker. Frost is an actor who went to Belmont University and Bowie State University. He starred in Broadway’s MJ the Musical as Michael Jackson. He won the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his role in this musical.

Frost gave a memorable speech that was highly praised. “Myles Frost’s speech was really powerful because of how recent of a graduate he was. It’s impactful to see someone who was in your shoes just six years ago,” senior Josh Mirsky said.

Frost’s advice to seniors was powerful and will have a lasting impact on the graduating class. “The biggest piece of advice I took from his speech was the idea of not living up to other people’s standards and instead living up to your own standards,” Mirsky said.

Frost’s speech had its funny moments, as well as including a moment when his grandmother called him onstage and he answered the call for the entire audience to hear. He also displayed his talents for the audience. “The best part of his speech was definitely when he sang a snippet from a song from Hairspray,” Mirsky said.

Preparations for this year’s graduation began toward the end of winter. “We did our first meeting in February. We had another meeting two weeks ago in May. We met in March and May,” Patriot Ambassador sponsor and social studies teacher Anne-Marie Steppling said.

The Patriot Ambassadors had a large role in directing graduation, allowing the ceremony to go smoothly. “Patriot Ambassadors are ushering handicapped seating, helping people getting to their seats, handing out programs and diploma covers, and lining up the graduates in alphabetical order,” Steppling said.

Each graduate was given four tickets for guests and could request more. “If people want to live stream the graduation ceremony they can through the Wootton website,” Steppling said.

Overall, the graduates were excited, but graduation can make students nervous. “Honestly I’m the most nervous about forgetting something at home,” senior Nicholas Jayner said.

While the speeches make graduation memorable, walking across the stage and receiving your diploma is the most important part of graduation. “I look forward to walking across the stage with my twin brother. We will be called seconds after each other,” Mirsky said prior to graduation.

While there are seniors who felt that graduation was going to be bitter-sweet, other seniors can’t wait for what is coming after high school. “I’m looking forward to finally being officially done with high school,” Jayner said.

Graduation is an emotional and memorable event for seniors. The ceremony is a moment that they will always cherish. “I will always remember being surrounded by my classmates and all of our families,” Mirsky said.

Historically, graduation has almost always taken place at DAR, with the exception of the two virtual learning years. A virtual graduation was held in 2020, and in 2021, graduation took place on the stadium field.