Twenty-nine adult education students graduated at a ceremony held at the Londonderry High School gymnasium June 5.
The proceedings opened with a spirited rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner,” played by graduate Lucian Davidson on his electric guitar.
Adult Education Director Gregory Warren in his opening remarks noted that the graduation is his last, as he moves to LHS House 2 to replace Art Psaledas, who is retiring June 30.
“We’re here to celebrate your transition from one state to another state, whatever that is for each of you, and I wish you all the best,” Warren said.
Superintendent of Schools Nathan Greenberg told the audience about a psychiatrist whose patient walked in to the office with a penguin on his head. The psychiatrist looked at the patient and asked, “How may I help you?” and the penguin said, “Help me get this guy off my behind.”
The moral of the story, Greenberg said, was assumptions. The audience made the assumption that the man, not the penguin, was the patient, given the “frame of reference.”
Greenberg said that “by being here tonight with the assistance of the teachers and the support of your families, you have changed your frame of reference and the frame of reference as to how others see you.”
School Board Chairman Leitha Reilly told the students they made the day happen. “You earned this,” Reilly said.
She told the graduates to try something unexpected and said their best years lay ahead.
Campbell High School counselor William Hicks noted that the graduates were surrounded by those who supported them – parents, relatives and friends in the audience behind them and school board members and their teachers in front of them. He told them to have goals, dreams and vision and that it was time to do some serious thinking about themselves.
Graduate Kyle Carrier, 17, said regular high school didn’t agree with some people and the students in the adult education program were there because they wanted to be there.
“There are times when some of us felt like outcasts, but when people have a conversation with us, they will find that we are a motivated and respectful group of students that have the potential to be great students,” Carrier said.
Meg Plourde, 18, who is a current adult education student and will be graduating in January, said she at one time was petrified of attending school but through e-mails with Warren, started attending one class. Now she goes to classes three days a week and said the adult program has helped her “flourish.”
The 2014 Adult Education graduates are: Carly Anderson, Hailey Audet, Alexander Augusto, Brandon Bellegarde, Bradley Benedict, Jasmine Betts, Kyle Carrier, Lucian Davidson, Julie Dubreuil, Gage Evans, Zachary Farrington, Christopher Fiquet, Joseph Fortier, Victoria Healey, Matthew Heuston, Nathan Kilgus, Matthew Lawley, Devan Makarawicz, Eric McCann, Katherine McCarthy, Shantay Merrill, Camille Piana, Ashley Rollins, Nicole Roy, Elizabeth Sanchez, Anthony Santomassino Jr., Candice Thorndike, Harley Valley and Jason White.
At the end of the ceremony, current student Madison Hicks, “speaking on behalf of every student here tonight,” presented retiring LHS Guidance Director Mike Dolphin with a circular granite plaque etched with a green shamrock. Dolphin held it high above his head to the cheers of all present.