Michael F. Devine, Superintendent
180 Harborview Road
Hull, MA 02045
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019
Contact: Kelsey Bode
Email: [email protected]
Hull Students Being Selected for Eight-Week Course on Promoting Inclusion
HULL — Superintendent Michael Devine is pleased to announce that Hull High School students will soon be taking part in a project meant to increase inclusion and promote diversity at the school.
In partnership with the Andrew J. Lawson Foundation, the school will soon be launching a pilot program that will offer an eight-week after-school class in memory of Lawson, a Norwell Public Schools student with Down syndrome who was 27 years old when he passed away in 2018 after a two year battle with cancer.
Lawson participated in multiple sports at Norwell High School, and after graduation taught a course on disabilities at Hull High School.
Some of the topics being considered for the class include the meaning of inclusion, learning about different disabilities such as autism or Down syndrome, understanding that language matters, overcoming barriers and fears around interacting with people with disabilities, and creating a school culture where students and their peers with disabilities are valued.
The class, which will start Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, will be taught by Lisa Drennan, an expert in supporting people with disabilities and building more inclusive environments. She founded MERGE, a diversity and inclusion consulting firm, in 2018.
“I am excited to offer this class to students in Hull as a way to make the school a more open and welcoming place for all,” Drennan said. “These are lessons that are valuable to learn no matter how old you are, and the hope is that these students will take what they learn and be ambassadors for inclusion to their fellow peers as they continue through school and beyond.”
Superintendent Devine was an Assistant Principal at Norwell High School when he first met and got to know Lawson. He inducted Lawson into the Norwell High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018 following his passing.
“Being an educator is great, but I think all educators would agree that the toughest part is saying goodbye, especially when that goodbye is forever,” Devine said at the induction ceremony. “Andrew lives on in the hearts and minds of all that knew him. Personally, his photo hangs in my office and always will. It is there to remind me that each and every student deserves a shot at chasing their dreams, and, like Andrew, when you let them take the shot, most of the times they hit it.”
Devine and Lawson’s mother, Regina, recently met to discuss what the Andrew Lawson Foundation could do in Hull, and they decided that they wanted to replicate Andrew’s experience for students with disabilities.
Through these discussions they came up with the idea of the pilot program for the eight-week after-school class.
“We want to give students with disabilities every chance to be fully involved with their school and their peers,” Devine said. “We also recognized that in order to do this, we need to have students receive education about disabilities and how to appropriately interact with these students. That is what this project is all about.”
The school is now in the process of selecting candidates for the class. They encourage sophomores or juniors to apply who are interested in inclusion and/or who have a personal experience with someone with a developmental or intellectual disability, or who may be exploring working in this field following graduation.
If interested, students or their parents may reach out to Hull High School Athletic Director Scott Paine or Principal Nicole Nosek at 781-925-3000.
Students who are selected will be invited to attend a meet-and-greet event leading up to the class on Monday, Jan. 13 at Hull High School to meet others involved with the project.