Education, Events

Commencement held for Maryland School for the Blind Class of 2019

NOTTINGHAM, MD – The Maryland School for the Blind held its 166th commencement on Monday, June 10, 2019. The ceremony celebrated the accomplishments of five students from the Class of 2019, who are now proud MSB alumni.

The graduates included Shi-Niyua Goodman of Baltimore, Wayne Gopshes of Glen Burnie, Lisa Lin of Germantown, Callie Smith of Lusby, and Gracia Zuzarte of Rosedale.

The ceremony consisted of the conferring of diplomas, certificates and awards, with remarks from Mr. W. Robert Hair, MSB Superintendent and commencement speaker, Paralympian Andrew Jenks. Jenks earned a silver medal as a member of the men’s goalball team at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. He was also a member of MSB’s 2018 Guinness World Record setting goalball team. He has competed on four continents, 11 countries, and in 12 states throughout his 16 year goalball career. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Delaware and is an active advocate for disability rights, accessibility, and disability sports.

Other highlights included Class President, Callie Smith’s address to the class of 2019 and the singing of the school song led by Smith and fellow MSB students, Gracia Zuzarte and Shaniya Harcum. Special awards were presented to several students, who exhibited leadership qualities and academic excellence throughout their years at MSB. Senior Gracia Zuzarte was awarded the B. Franklin Newcomer Award, which recognizes a student who demonstrates, through leadership and citizenship, a positive influence in both school and residential life. Underclassman Shawn Hokanson was presented with the MSB Alumni Award and seniors, Callie Smith and Lisa Lin received the Staff Commendation Awards.

“We are very proud of our graduates for setting high standards and achieving their goals. MSB has prepared them with the education and skills needed to be as independent as possible and to become successful contributing members of their communities and we look forward to a promising future for each of them,” said Hair.

Founded in 1853, The Maryland School for the Blind, located on Taylor Avenue on Nottingham, is a private, statewide resource center providing outreach, educational and residential programs to children and youth from infancy to age 21 who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities. Annually the school serves 65 percent of the 2000 students identified in Maryland who are blind or visually impaired through its on-campus and outreach programs.

[Image: Dotty Raynor]

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