Yorktown graduation 2018

Claire Morris, Quentin Powers, Pablo Rodriguez Lujan, Matthew Newman and Austen Mulieri prepare to take part in the Yorktown High School graduation ceremony on June 14, 2018, at DAR Constitution Hall. (Photo by Deb Kolt)

A sea of light-blue caps and gowns took center stage at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington on June 14, as the 428 members of the Yorktown High School Class of 2018 looked ahead while also taking a glimpse back.

“Our next steps are exciting – and terrifying,” said class president Olivia Olson. “We will forever share the memories.”

“You have left Yorktown a better place,” said first-year principal Bridget Loft. “You’ve accomplished a great deal. All of you have laid the foundation for exciting and meaningful next steps.”

It was the school’s 57th annual commencement ceremony.

A reflective tone was set by the Yorktown Jazz Band, which provided a mellow rendition of “Pomp and Circumstance” as graduates filed into the historic hall. Among those singled out for special accolades were Cassius Close and Elizabeth Discenza, who were named National Merit Finalists.

Jack Markowitz, chosen to represent valedictorians at the ceremony, compared the Class of 2018 to a puzzle.

“All the different people . . . all fit in together,” he said. “All the different personalities of the students come together. At Yorktown, we’ve been able to find our own place, see where we fit in.”

Markowitz singled out the school’s teachers for their commitment.

“They were willing to help whenever needed,” he said, calling the teaching corps “a positive group of people.”

And he went further, praising staff across the board, from counselors to custodians, as full partners in the success of students.

The Yorktown graduation ceremony was Arlington’s second of three at Constitution Hall on June 14, an afternoon celebration that benefited from picture-perfect weather outside and a nearly full house inside to cheer the students on.

And cheer, they did, as students looked to the future.

“We did it,” class president Olson said. “We are unstoppable.”