Bedford High School Adult Education program graduates 13

Thirteen students graduated from the Adult Education Program at Bedford High School on Friday. The ceremony was the fourth of its kind since Bill Hagen, Principal of Bedford High School and Chip McGee, Bedford’s Assistant Superintendent, started the program.

Marianne Philbrick, the High School’s School to Career Organizer, organized the graduation. She said that the program was created to give students an alternative to the typical Bedford High School diploma program. “Some of the students enrolled in the program because it is a good match to their future plans,” she said, “Others enrolled because it is a good way to stay on track for high school graduation.”

Two students, Natalie Mitchell and Amanda Soterion both said that their graduation represented a door opening to the future. “This graduation represents adulthood,” Soterion said, “I am moving on with my life.”

Mitchell wasted no time with moving on. “I am already enrolled in school,” she said, “I have been done with high school since January so I am studying cosmetology at Empire Beauty School.”

In recognition of the steps she has taken toward a successful future, Mitchell was awarded the Barbara D. Hanley Scholarship for Education, which will be used to help pay for her cosmetology schooling.

Two other students also received awards at the graduation. Rachel Lurvey was recognized with the Tyler R. Walsh Memorial Scholarship for her commitment to furthering her education in trade school – culinary in particular.

Stephen Roy received the Presidential Service Award for Community Service in recognition of his service at a local farm. “It gave me confidence,” Roy said, “I was working with such huge animals. As of now I am working full time at my father’s dealership and I am attending night college for business management. My plan is to take over the dealership here in the near future.”

The students also took the time to recognize many teachers at the ceremony, including the two Adult Education teachers – Betsy Doyle and Jill Pearson. “They know the Adult Education students well, and often had them in class during the day at BHS and at night in an Adult Education class,” said Philbrick.

According to Philbrick, students also enroll in classes at regional schools – Goffstown, Manchester and Nashua – because it allows for a wider variety of classes.

The program has seen great success over the past four years in Bedford, and will continue to run in the future. It gives students an alternate pathway to success. Philbrick said that students have a variety of plans for the future. “One of our graduates has enlisted in the Navy,” she said, “a number of them are planning to enroll in college in the fall, and a number are planning to enter or are continuing in the workforce.”

Regardless of where the program takes them, its organizers know they will see great things from the students. In his closing remarks to the students, Chip McGee encouraged the graduates, “you have proven that you are ready for the next challenge, and we are very proud of you.”