LONDONDERRY — Londonderry High School has honored its winter Class of 2021 alternative education graduates.
In a safely-distanced ceremony held on Jan. 28, graduates donning blue and white caps and gowns received their high school diplomas after completing all requirements in the program.
Teachers, administrators, school board members, family and friends filled the high school gym, spaced out safely and wearing masks, to honor the winter graduating class.
The program has been held for many years, and another commencement ceremony is traditionally held in the spring.
In her remarks, program director Crystal Rich told graduates they should be very proud of themselves for overcoming many challenges and obstacles to get to this point, including an ongoing pandemic.
"You are the definition of perseverance," Rich told the graduates, adding the program is one that stays with her every year, saying she started out a teacher in the program prior to taking the director role.
"And to see the accomplishments of this night, the perseverance, the strength, dedication, it will extend far beyond the walls of the school," Rich added.
All graduates received a copy of a children's book, "You're Here for a Reason," and Rich said the book's words are important. She cited several sentences from the book.
"You're here for a reason, it's totally true. You're part of a world that counting on you," Rich read.
She went on to say some of the graduates faced many challenges still, and some knew what the future path might be. But all should be very proud of their hard work to get to this point.
"I can't promise you you'll find the answer anytime soon, but someday you will wake up and know just what it is," Rich said.
Teacher Corrine Murphy, battling cancer, provided a video message to the students, saying life's battles are hard, but support from those around you is so very important.
"People need people," she said. "You've still chosen to fight. This diploma is all about you and what you've done. Never believe you are alone. You should be proud of what you accomplished. I know we are."
Gradates Yasmin Lazaro and Amanda Auger received the two program scholarships.
Members of the 2021 winter graduating class are: Amanda Auger, Ashleigh Dahlstrom, Melissa Fitzmaurice, Sydney Grant, Nate Greer, Ashtin Gregoire, Jackson Harpster, Spencer Hunt, John Hurd, Noel Jiminez, Isaiah Johnson, Gabriel Lasyone, Yasmin Lazaro, David Levesque, Aubrey Lockwood, Jared Was, Andrea McCarthy, Breana McCarthy, Halle Paul, Jared Reeves, Jaime Rojas, Andrew Smith, Avery Taylor, Lydia Todd and Logan Williams.