June 21, 2015

REAL School graduation - By Elizabeth Richards

Eighteen REAL School students earned their high school diplomas, representing eight different sending high schools. Thursday evening, June 4, the REAL School celebrated its students' accomplishments with more than 200 family members, community partners, staff, and students in attendance. In keeping with REAL School tradition, each graduate was acknowledged individually by a staff member who knew him or her well, providing sentimental anecdotes and tributes to the students' strengths and highlights from their time at REAL. Every graduate has a transition plan, with eight students enrolled in SMCC courses, three entering trade schools, one entering the military, and six graduates entering the workforce with full-time employment.

RSU14 student, Madeline Wilson, read a letter to the school, including the lines:

"To say that high school has been a struggle for me is an understatement. It has been an uphill battle that, at times, I felt as though I was facing alone ... I felt as though giving up was my only option. (Then) I was welcomed into the REAL School with open arms, I felt included, and for the first time in my hish school career, I felt accepted. Without every single staff member at The REAL School, my goal for graduation would have been unattainable. ...(my teacher) taught me that family is not blood - family are the people who push you, who care for you, even at your most difficult times. Family are the people you sit down and have dinner with at the end of a 13-hour van ride (referring to a recent service learning trip to Washington D.C.)."

An excerpt from another RSU14 student, Emily Denbow:

""Two years passed, and I watched
brilliant, loose sparks catch on fire
We thought we'd failed, until one day
we saw our light dancing

We burned crimson and orange,
Sooty gray and tired black,
Sending flares into the night
to light each other's way

When the flames began to dwindle
fear blossomed and bled from our
lips as we bit down harder, reaching
for anything stronger than us

But one day, we heard a calling
It said, "the road doesn't end here,"
And the fear hardened
Into the skeleton of a phoenix.

With bright, new eyes
We shook the ashes from our feet
at the welcome mat,
and realized we'd been home all along

No longer are we so timid
about the leftover flame inside
I beg you, keep burning -
You know the road doesn't end here."

No comments:

Post a Comment