Congratulations to the Roland Park Country School Class of 2021! On Monday, June 7, the graduating seniors were recognized for their academic, athletic, artistic and service and citizenship achievements at an annual Class Day ceremony, which also included passing of the leadership offices to the rising senior class. Then, on Tuesday, June 8, the Class of 2021 and their families gathered for an in-person Commencement, held outside on the neighboring campus of St. Mary’s Seminary, that was also livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook.
“I want so much for you to understand how proud all of us are of you and the perseverance and determination you exhibited through much adversity,” Mrs. Caroline Blatti, Head of School, told the Class of 2021. “As you leave this year behind and take steps toward your future, please be even more certain of your own strength and resilience. Find ‘joy in the stepping,’ as you move forward from this day, growing, learning and evolving. Embrace the bridges that will connect you to your classmates and this place for a lifetime.”
Camille Lawson, 2021 delivered the senior speech and spoke about how Roland Park Country School has been her home for the last 14 years. “I will always carry RPCS close to my heart, so it will never really leave me,” she told the audience. Camille reflected on her favorite school memories, including Lower School field days, Middle School mixers and the Upper School retreat, and also spoke about the resiliency and bravery of this year’s senior class. “Every day, we got up and went to school or logged onto our Zoom calls, even when it was hard. When nothing seems to be going right, it takes true strength to continue on…All of the hardships we’ve faced have only made us stronger and more prepared for challenges later in our lives.” Camille also encouraged her classmates to be compassionate towards others and urged them to remember that even small gestures of generosity can make big impacts on others. As she told her fellow seniors: “Compassion for others has always been important, and especially after a year of hardship for many, people may need your kindness and goodwill more than ever.”
After the Senior Awards were presented, award-winning photojournalist and RPCS alumna, Regina H. Boone, 1988, delivered the Commencement address. She asked the seniors to reflect on their gifts and educational experiences and envision how to share what they’ve cultivated with the world. She also urged the students to question everything and listen and respect to others to gain a greater understanding of who we are as a community and how our talents can help change the world. “As a photojournalist, I am guided by the light and truth,” Regina told the audience. “Each day, I listen, observe and respect other people’s stories as I capture moments that tell us who we are and where we are and then point us in the direction of what’s possible in the future.”
Regina also spoke about her challenges and struggles as a black teen at RPCS and how she learned at a young age from her family to stand up for what is right. “This is the truth of modern life: we are all on a constant quest to clear the hurdle placed in our way, for whatever reason,” Regina said. “Do not be intimidated by this.” Her biggest piece of advice to the students was: “Lead with your heart, always. It will never steer you wrong.”
After Upper School Head Mrs. Colleen Kyle, President of the Board of Trustees Carroll Knott McGill, 1993, and Mrs. Blatti distributed diplomas to each senior, the audience was treated to a beautiful performance of the song “Crowded Table” from the senior members of the Semiquavers, the school’s auditioned music ensemble.
As Mrs. Blatti told the Class of 2021, “You are this moment. You are this class. You have persevered. You are invincible.”
We are so proud of this invincible Class of 2021! Watch the full commencement and the Class Day ceremony and follow along with the digital program.