Seneca Valley Remembers Fallen Classmate at Graduation
The seniors in Seneca Valley’s graduating class gathered, for what was the last time as members of the Class of 2015, for a ceremony marking the joyful end of their high school career, but many of those donning caps and gowns were thinking of one classmate who was not among them at Constitution Hall in Washington DC.
Senior Class President Diana Azizyan, Class Speaker Julie Jimenez, and Seneca Valley Principal Marc Cohen all mentioned the tragic death and legacy of Christina Morris-Ward. Morris-Ward’s was struck and killed by a car as she was walking to school while crossing Germantown Road at Wisteria Road in October of 2012.
“I know that Christina Ward was so important to so many people in this room,” Class Speaker Julie Jimenez told her classmates. “I wanted to take moment to assure her friends and family that she is graduating with us and that she will always be a part of Seneca Valley family. She will never be forgotten and the Class of 2015 honors her memory through action. So many of us have become advocates of pedestrian safety because of her.”
Principal Cohen praised the Class of 2015 for their dedication to their peers and the community, and their character, “because they believe that they too can make a difference.”
“They came together after the tragic loss of their friend and classmate Christina and fiercely advocated for longer crossing lights at corners, slower speed limits in our community, better driving habits from their peers, and safer pedestrian behavior from our students and students at our feeder elementary and middle schools. I am grateful for all their efforts and proud to have stood by them as they led this important work,” said Cohen.
“I stand before you as the proudest principal in all of Montgomery County,” said Cohen. “While it is true that the members of this graduating class have scored higher on their SATs, APs, and IB assessments than many of the classes that came before them that is not, in fact the reason I am so proud of you all. And while it is true that this class has students going to two-year colleges, four-year colleges, the Ivy Leagues, and West Point, and it is also true that some in this class have chosen to forego college to serve their nation by joining the military, and while I am so proud of that -- that is not why I am the proudest principal in Montgomery County. While it is also true that this class has earned more scholarship money than the last three graduating classes at Seneca Valley High School combined -- $13 million in scholarship money is pretty cool. But all of these accomplishments and many more than I could list here today are true, and they reflect the tremendous successes that you’ve experienced , but the thing that I am most proud of in you, our graduating class of 2015 is that you are a class of character. You care.”
“This class cares deeply about their peers,” continued Cohen. “They care deeply about their community. They care deeply about the world around them. This class has raised money for cancer research. This class has collected coats for the needy and pennies for patients. This class has donated hundreds of cans for the hungry and thousands of hours of service to the community.”