Congratulations to Laura Wilcox, valedictorian, and Hannah Bates, salutatorian, of T.C. Williams High School Class of 2016.
Both Laura and Hannah are home grown, having attended ACPS since kindergarten. They both attended George Mason Elementary School, followed by George Washington Middle School, and finally T.C. Williams via the Minnie Howard Campus.
Laura Wilcox is a member of National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, and the Superintendent’s Student Leadership Committee and is a National Merit Finalist. She was also captain of T.C. Swim and Dive, known for having the best school spirit and the most sportsmanship.
Students at T.C. interact with classmates representing a variety of countries, languages, religions, and cultures that students at other schools can’t even imagine. As we leave T.C. and move on to college, the military, or the workplace, I firmly believe that T.C. students can be a force for good in our society because we can model the acceptance and civility that T.C.’s diversity fosters–and that our country so desperately needs.
Wherever we end up in the fall, my hope is that we will keep an open mind when meeting new people and be open to the possibility of changing our beliefs. That we will be mindful of the language we use in face-to-face and virtual conversations. That if we hear someone say something hurtful or bigoted, we don’t stay silent but instead act. While it’s easy for others to look at the Class of 2016 and see only our differences, we choose to see strength in our diversity and unity in our differences,” said Laura in her graduation speech.
Laura will attend Swarthmore College and is considering a major in economics or political science. She looks forward to the small, intellectual environment at Swarthmore where strong student/professor relationships are emphasized, along with social justice and equity.
Hannah Bates is the president of the Red Cross Club, an officer in the National Honor Society, a member of the Key Club, Deca, the National English Honor Society, and a College Board AP Scholar with Distinction. She is also the captain of this year’s history-making girls’ varsity soccer team, the Alexandria Sportsman’s Club soccer player of the year and a First Team All District Soccer Player 2015 and 2016.
It’s been a long, challenging, and exhilarating four years and we could never have made it through this journey alone. So many people have helped us with the many choices we’ve had to make to get to this day. I would like to thank the TC administrative team for all their tireless efforts to get us to this stage. I would like to thank Dr. Dingle, for his unwavering support this year, in matters ranging from academics to sports to life . Thank you to Dean Sanders, Ms. Ford, and the LC 12 team for their guidance. Thank you to all of our teachers, for all the countless hours they put in both inside and outside of the classroom to help us all succeed. And perhaps most important, thank you to all of our family and friends, because without all of your love and support, we truly wouldn’t be here today,” said Hannah in her graduation speech.
Hannah will attend the University of Virginia this fall and is considering a major in business or environmental science.