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Commencement 2009

Pressure prepares SHS grads

SOUTHBRIDGE —Olivia Wandelear gets a hug and scholarship from Carla Espino as others look on during the Southbridge High School commencement Sunday. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
June 09, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — After four years of upheaval, the 76-member Southbridge High School class of 2009 finally made its way out the door into "the real, real world" in a sun-drenched ceremony on the football field Sunday.

"The fact we've had to deal with the pressure pushed us into reality faster," said graduate Iesha Loconto afterward.

She, of course, was referring to something several speakers had mentioned from the podium earlier, and almost everyone in town is very much aware of — the turbulence this class has had to endure during its four years at the school. They came in with a funding crisis that resulted in more than 60 teachers being laid off and most of the administrators being replaced. They watched the library crumble to the point it had to be knocked down last year and the gym need repairs. And they saw many of their peers take flight to other schools.

But they also saw the district invest a lot of money in technology, totally revamp the curriculum, create the Virtual High School, and start the process many hope will lead to building a new school.

See Tuesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage.

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