Montgomery County Councilmember Gabe Albornoz, seniors to speak at graduation


Montgomery County Councilmember Gabe Albornoz will speak at graduation June 6. Photo Courtesy Montgomery Community Media.

By Blake Layman

Shifting away from the trend of prominent journalists as speakers, administrators selected Gabe Albornoz (’94), a Montgomery County Councilmember, to give the keynote speech at graduation June 6. Seniors Obi Onwuamegbu, Maeve Trainor and Breanna McDonald will also speak.

Senior class sponsor Todd Michaels, senior class administrator Kristin Cody and principal Robby Dodd discussed and generated a list of potential keynote speakers, ultimately choosing Albornoz because he was available.

Albornoz has worked in Montgomery County for 11 years as the Director of the Department of Recreation, where he won 36 national and state awards for excellence.

“He’s tremendous,” Dodd said. “I worked closely with him when I was a middle school principal. He’s a real advocate for kids, plus he has the Whitman experience, so I thought he would be a great pick.”

Every year, in addition to the keynote speaker, student speakers audition before a committee made up of faculty and senior SGA officers to speak at graduation.

Around 20 students auditioned for three spots, making speaking at graduation an impressive feat and something that is extremely sought after, Michaels said.

“I wasn’t chosen to speak at fifth grade graduation, and ever since then I’ve had a chip on my shoulder to get it done,” Onwuamegbu said. “That chip manifested itself into a desire to commend my entire graduating class face to face, and let them know just how much they have accomplished.”