Sometimes, there are those who come to the conclusion that if you fail to pass high school, you might as well give up on ever 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 Monday, Jan. 22, its 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 the student’s family and friends.
Once the students had made their way to the stage, Amity Small, Director of the Alternative Education program, addressed 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, but then chose to ask the student to take inspiration from the dogs that they had been with quite closely during their programs, asking them to enjoy the little things in life, spread love to the those who care about you and watch and listen, just as those dogs have done.
Small reminded graduates that although life will be full of ups and downs, it is how you handle these moments that matters.
“When a challenge isn’t working for you, you have to change”, Small stated.
Members of the school district followed Small’s speech to also give congratulations to the graduates. Superintendent Scott Laliberte, told the graduates a powerful story about a man and his son, the latter of which was complaining about how hard his life was. The father simply proceeded to boil three pots of water before sticking a carrot in one, an egg in another and coffee grounds in the third. While the first two objects changed because of the water, the third changed the water itself. Thus, the father explained that there are three types of people when it comes to adversity in life: those who go soft when faced with challenge, like the carrot, those who grow hard and stern, like the egg, or those who change their situation, like the coffee grounds.
Amongst the other individuals to speak were School Board Chair Dan Lekas, who congratulated the students on their hard work. Adult Education Teacher Lori Jabar, encouraged the students to remember their own inner strength in life and stay close to those who can encourage you, and graduate Antonio Perez. Perez admitted that he did not always make the best choices in the past, but was happy to see how far the classes he had taken in this program had taken him.
“They basically helped me get to where I am today”, Perez noted.
After teacher Casey Roop sang the class song Humble and King by Tim McGraw, the night drew to a close with the presenting of diplomas. As there were only eight graduates in attendance that night, the staff took the opportunity to have the teachers that had worked so closely with these students hand out one diploma themselves and say something kind and encouraging to and about the recipient.
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.
Graduates given diplomas that evening were: Sarah-Michelle Boissonneault, Hope DeCarolis, Felicia Gallagher, Christopher Landry, April Madison, Matthew Olsen, Antonio Perez and Alexandra Rowlands.