Alum, U.S. Rep as graduation speakers

By Pablo Roa, Production Editor

Congressman Chris Van Hollen and alumnus Ashwani Jain will speak at the Class of 2014’s graduation ceremony at DAR Constitution Hall May 27.

Van Hollen, Congressman for Maryland’s eighth district, has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2002 and serves as the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee. Prior to his election to Congress 12 years ago, Van Hollen served four years in the Maryland House of Delegates and eight years in the Maryland Senate.

“I was honored to be asked to participate in the graduation ceremony, and I look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of the graduates with the Churchill community,” Van Hollen said.

Sharing the stage with Van Hollen will be Jain, who graduated from CHS in 2007. After graduation, Jain attended the University of Maryland and worked in various leadership roles for President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. Jain currently works in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.

Along with his work for the government, Jain volunteers for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which he has been involved in since he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 13.

While Jain graduated from CHS seven years ago, he still has fond memories of the CHS community and looks forward to speaking at graduation.

“Being chosen as a speaker for this year’s graduation ceremony is one of the greatest honors I have ever received,” Jain said. “I understand the importance of knowing and appreciating where you come from, and I feel proud that I am able to give back to a community that has given me so much.”

Class of 2014 President Amy Dalrymple believes that this year’s speakers will not only provide a unique opportunity for the graduating class, but will also provide a proper send-off for the seniors as they finish their high school careers.

“I think it is great that we can have not only a Congressman, but also a Churchill alum who has been very successful speak at graduation,” English teacher and Class of 2014 sponsor Shelley Perrett said. “Hopefully they will leave a strong message for the seniors and inspire them to follow their dreams and succeed, just as Ashwani and the Congressman have.”