WEYMOUTH– Superintendent Jennifer Curtis-Whipple and Weymouth Evening High School Director Michele Prendergast are pleased to announce that Weymouth Evening High School will celebrate program graduates in a virtual ceremony next Monday.
On Monday, June 29, at 7 p.m. the Weymouth Evening High School (WEHS) program will recognize this year’s 52 graduates for their achievements in a virtual commencement ceremony.
This year’s graduating class represents the towns of Hingham, Marshfield, Scituate, Braintree, Rockland, Holbrook, Avon, Randolph and Whitman. The Class of 2020’s valedictorian is 54-year-old Lubna Khan and the oldest student graduating from the program is 86-year-old Walter Massey. Seamus Slinger and Lucas DaSilveira are the Class of 2020’s co-salutatorians.
During the ceremony, Superintendent Curtis-Whipple will offer the commencement address, and the class valedictorian and one of the salutatorians will give a short speech. All speeches will be pre-recorded.
Additionally, the virtual ceremony will feature each graduate’s name, place of residency and their future plans on a slide while their names are read aloud to mimic the awarding of diplomas.
Friends and families of the graduates can watch the virtual ceremony on cable channel 8 or go online to weymouth.tv and watch it anytime. For those who are not subscribed to Comcast, or live outside of Weymouth, the ceremony can be viewed online by clicking on the “Live Feed” on www.weymouth.tv.
The Weymouth Evening High School was established in 1977 when the district identified a need for alternative learning practices and recognized that not all students fit the usual four-year educational mold.
In the first year of the program, six students graduated. In total, 1,631 students have earned their high school diplomas from WEHS since its inception.
“Our program offers those who have struggled while learning in the regular high school setting an alternative way to obtain their high school diploma,” said Director Prendergast. “I’m extremely grateful I’ve had the opportunity to grow along with this program and graduating class. Our faculty members are excellent and very dedicated to helping our students succeed. We are immensely proud of our students and look forward to recognizing their accomplishments with them next week.”
WEHS consists of students who have not earned their high school diploma and now would like to finish earning their degree to earn the needed high school graduate credentials for their jobs or to improve their family’s income. A large population of students, ages 16 to 22, dropped out of daytime school due to things like anxiety, bullying, problems at home or pregnancy. Others enrolled in the program because of court-ordered attendance, the desire to enroll in the military and many more reasons. Students may also attend WEHS for credit recovery purposes.
Typically students participate in classes from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights at Weymouth High School. Each student must follow the strict attendance policy and other guidelines in order to be eligible to graduate. Fall and spring semesters are offered and run for a 15-week duration.
“Before I began attending WEHS in 2017, I attended numerous schools that didn’t work for me. I found it very hard to focus in such big classrooms that I would get overwhelmed and either avoid class and walk around or the classes I did attend I found myself lacking support and fall behind,” WEHS 2020 graduate Curtis Curran said. “Once I began WEHS that all changed. I found that the smaller classroom setting helped me focus on my work without any distractions and also the faculty are all very nice and go above and beyond to help any student that is struggling, whether that is in class at that moment or before class.”
“Without Mrs. Prendergast and all the teachers at WEHS I really don’t think I would have ever graduated high school and probably wouldn’t have had any real ambitions for my future. To say that WEHS has changed my life would be an understatement,” Curran said. “I’m now focused on physically preparing myself to start my life journey and hopefully joining the U.S. Navy. I’m extremely happy that I got the chance to attend this program and succeed, because it’s really something I never thought I would accomplish. I believe WEHS is a great option for all kinds of people, especially for kids coming from similar situations as me.”