Sometimes, there are those who come to the conclusion that if you fail to pass high school, you might as well give up on every achieving a better future for yourself. But Londonderry High School sees things differently.
LHS’s Adult Education program seeks to give those who did not complete high school a second chance at a better education. Typically taking place during the afternoon and evenings, the tuition-based program helps to push these individuals towards a brighter future and on June 1, its 17 newest graduates were finally granted the fruits of their efforts at the program’s commencement ceremony.
Taking place inside the LHS cafeteria, the room was packed with hundreds of the student’s families and friends, along with LHS staff as well.
Once the students had made their way to the stage, Amity Small, Director of the Alternative Education program, came forward to address the students. After thanking the various staff members for their hard work, Small noted that she had struggled initially to think of things to say to the graduating students, as there was just so much to comment on. Listing off how each student made their own individual impact of the school, Small told the students that “you are a group that evokes positive emotion” and she hopes to that they “continue to bring joy to whatever you do.”
Several members of the school district followed Small’s speech to also give congratulations to the graduates. Superintendent Nate Greenberg, who recently announced his retirement from the position, noted how he saw the Adult Education program as one of the most successful programs in the community. He reminded the students that they had broken apart natural assumptions that many make about people in their position, in that they were still able to gain a strong education, despite not completing high school, and congratulated them on gaining a “bright new frame of reference.”
School Board Chair Dan Lekas followed Greenberg, happy to tell the students that they had learned to not give up, something that most people fail to learn throughout their entire lives.
Two of the students were also able to speak about their experiences in the program and how it has changed their lives. Nick Newman went first, noting how perseverance pushed him to succeed. Although he struggled in the early going, he thanked the staff for helping to give him the edge he needed to pass before finally stating that he was “honored to share this moment with other students.”
Joshua Gosselin went next, telling the crowd about he initially did not believe that he would be able to graduate. But now that he has reached the end of his journey, he started that “this is only the beginning”, as he and the other students have the whole world before them.
Teacher Scott Sicard then presented a $300 award towards any course at Manchester Community College to Jenna Wolcott before teachers Casey Roop and Lori Jabar sang the student’s class song, Compass, by Lady Antebellum.
Finally, the moment the students had been waiting for happened. Small and Campbell High School Coordinator Bill Hicks handed the students their diplomas. Small finished the ceremony by congratulating the graduates one last time before they moved their tassels and finally proceeded to take the next step in their lives.