Galileo holds graduation

Galileo holds graduation

Family, friends and school officials gathered at the Carrington Pavilion on Friday morning to celebrate Galileo High  School’s Class of 2021 with an in-person ceremony. 

Sixty-eight students turned their tassels next to their classmates, after beginning the school year virtually in August.  The class amassed more than $2 million in scholarships earned from various colleges, universities and other  institutions. 

Galileo Principal Michelle Ramsey challenged Class of 2021, which she started her Galileo journey with in 2017, to do  four things: go the distance, change the world, be the difference and make it happen. 

“I challenge you to dream big but don’t keep it just a dream, live it out,” Ramsey said. 

The students heard from Nicholas Pradhan, a 2014 graduate of Galileo and a third-year medical student pursuing his  M.D. at the George Washington University’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences with an interest in Internal  Medicine and a concentration in Health Policy. 

Pradhan was the valedictorian of his class before going on to attend the University of Virginia, graduating in 2018 with  a Bachelor of Science in Biology with Distinction. He is pursuing a career in clinical medicine as well as health policy,  hoping to advocate for increased access to care and health equity for all. 

Pradhan urged the Class of 2021 to be empathetic to all people and enjoy their lives in the moment. 

Valedictorian Marya Ruth Dunning spoke to the “Galileo experience” in her speech, describing how classmates often  helped each other climb over bumps in the road. 

“When we were overwhelmed by school work or the world around us, we had each other’s backs,” Dunning said. “As  simple as it seems, we wore masks to create a safe environment for learning. Whenever one of us was down, another  gave a part of themselves to bring them up, and that, to me, sums up the Galileo experience.” 

Salutatorian Caroline Stinson Woods congratulated her classmates for graduating through a year where the odds  seemed to be stacked against them.

“Here’s what we know for certain: we survived a global pandemic, a near civil war, and Lord have mercy, online school,”  Woods said. “The people I knew three years ago are not the people who stand in front of me today. The difference of  the last four years has been one of drastic change, maturity, and growth. The adults, and almost adults, sitting before  me in their cap and gown are some of the strongest and most resilient individuals I have ever met.”