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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Magnet High School “Awesome-ness”!

Posted by Cindy Hersom in General  |  Post a comment

As the LEARN Student Recruitment and Marketing Specialist I spend time working with our magnet school principals and staff on student recruitment and marketing.  Across the agency I cover a plethora of events, classroom activities, staff stories, workshops, and meetings.  As part of our magnet school recruiting process, we host information sessions and tours allowing for an inside look at our magnet schools, their themes and their “awesome-ness”. 

My colleagues and I in the Development Department have been called upon to lay the groundwork for LEARN magnet schools. Did you know Three Rivers Middle College opened summer of 2012 in just six weeks?  Doreen Marvin, Development Director announced to our team we had six weeks to collaborate with Three Rivers Community College and open the first middle college model in southeastern Connecticut with thirty students (by the way we did it! ). We held information sessions for Marine Science Magnet School and The Friendship School in libraries or town facilities before our schools were even built.  Our development team continues to be called upon to help with guided tours and school orientations.  Whatever the need, we answer the call to action, leave “the hill” and report directly to our school or program to support the request. This is one of the favorite parts of my job, being where the action is, and I am always blown away by the amazing stories I observe and experience.  It is with this lens, I created LEARN Stories Worth Sharing.  It was and is my intention to share the “awesome-ness” I am fortunate enough to observe with all of you throughout the agency.

This week I was called upon to cover our three LEARN high school graduations.  The first ceremony was Tuesday morning at Three Rivers Middle College.  The Connecticut River Academy graduation was that same evening on the Goodwin College campus, and the final high school graduation was held Wednesday night on the campus of UCONN Avery Point for Marine Science Magnet High School.  There is something pretty neat about having discussed magnet school options with a family just two or four years ago (which feels like yesterday) and then, “Poof,  four years later the student is walking across the stage accepting their high school diploma. And talk about walking across the stage, the high school magnet school students walk tall.  They carry themselves with confidence, they walk with a purpose and they speak and present as if they have been doing it their whole life.  LEARN magnet high school graduates are simply impressive!

My goal of sharing this LEARN Story is to bring the three stories together and showcase the LEARN’s high school “magnetism.”  Our LEARN Executive Director, Dr. Eileen S. Howley attended each of the ceremonies and accompanied the principals during the awarding of the diplomas.  Dr. Howley welcomed all guests and tailored her presentation to each school community.  At Marine Science Magnet High School Doctor Howley said, “Members of the Class of 2015, I am proud to join your principal Dr. Spera in presenting you the class of 2015 to this assembly.  Tonight, first and foremost is really a celebration of your accomplishments. It is my personal honor and privilege to confirm that you have successfully  achieved all of the standards and expectations required to achieve a Marine Science Magnet High School diploma.  Congratulations!”

The LEARN high school graduation ceremonies all demonstrated the LEARN Core Values: Student Success, Diversity, Integrity, Service, Communication, Innovation, Relationships, and Creativity.   The school Principals led the ceremonies with precision and grace.  It was clear to me that they, along with their staff, put their heart into preparing for these memorable culminating events. Each LEARN magnet school Principal expressed praise and gratitude for their staff, the supporting families and graduating seniors.  A comfortable feeling and strong sense of community were palpable at each ceremony. All the graduation ceremonies had moments of inspiration -  talented performances,  inspiring student speeches - which at times brought tears to my eyes and goose bumps of awe.  To share these stories, I have created a slide show of my favorite photos. I hope this slide show visually demonstrates for you the LEARN Magnet High School Graduation “Awesome-ness”! Click here to view the 5 minute video. 

Warmly,

Cindy 

Cindy Hersom
LEARN's Student Recruitment & Marketing Specialist
chersom@learn.k12.ct.us

 


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