Beacon celebrates Class of 2012
Beacon High School Director Pam Travers walked up the school’s central staircase with the Class of 2012 behind her, like a proud mother duck with her ducklings all in a row. The graduates – 19 young men and women, festooned in white gowns and mortarboards – walked single file through the main door, past teachers, guidance counselors, and clinicians, and out into the bright, warm sunshine of the mid-June evening.
Waiting for them were their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters, all gathered under a tent erected just for this night, wearing jackets and ties and pretty print dresses, waiting with smiles and tears and cameras, just as nervous and excited as the teenagers about to receive their high school diplomas.
Similar scenes have played out in high schools all over the country. This ceremony, however, was different. This ceremony meant a little more to those gathered at Beacon High School, Walker’s therapeutic high school program in Watertown. The words of encouragement and the recognition of achievement resonated more for the graduates and their families, many of whom never thought this milestone was attainable.
Pam acknowledged this when she told the Class of 2012, “Tonight marks the end of a long journey – from when you first walked through the doors of Beacon High School unsure of yourself and those around you, apprehensive about what the future held to this moment, as you sit alongside your classmates, prepared to leave our cozy community and embark on the rest of your lives, armed with the confidence that comes from knowing you have conquered tremendous obstacles, and found the strength within yourself to face each day with renewed purpose.”
Several students also touched on their personal struggles in moving reflections on their time at Beacon. One senior delivered her thoughts via Skype from Venice, Italy, where she is participating in an art course through the Museum of Fine Arts School.
Guidance Counselors Theresa Melito and Bernadette Smith introduced the Graduate Achievement Awards with descriptions of each student’s achievements. Educational Director Melinda Roberts-Isaacs presented the awards to each student. Students received awards for excellence in areas such as engineering design, photography and design, athletics, poetry, art, leadership, and history.