Lancaster, MA – On Thursday, June 11 2021, Perkins held its annual outdoor Senior March on their Lancaster campus, followed by a virtual livestream and modified in-person version of the annual Recognition Day Ceremony on Saturday, June 19. Students from across New England were recognized for their achievements over the past challenging academic year.
Similar to last year when the Senior March and Recognition Day were pivoted completely outdoors for pandemic-related safety reasons, staff and students safely lined the outside campus drive with signs to cheer the students on.
On Saturday the 19th, the second virtual Perkins Recognition Day Ceremony was held, with family members and relative staff in-person to enjoy the ceremony and numerous others joining online.
“…Last year we were not able to enjoy the traditional festivities in a way that we would have liked. Coming together again as a school community to celebrate each student’s accomplishments over the past year is such a wonderful step forward,” said Cindy Wing, Chief Academic Officer of Doctor Franklin Perkins School.
Four students were awarded honors during the ceremony: Heather Ann Levasseur, Valedictorian, Max Passarelli, Day Student of the Year, Grace Owen, Residential Female Student of the Year, and one additional student received Residential Male Student of the Year.
Also during the ceremony, Student Speaker and graduating class member, Jakob Labbe, spoke to his peers through a reflection on his time at Perkins. “Throughout my years at Perkins I have built crucial relationships that have benefited my growth more than I could have ever imagined…I want to thank all the staff at Perkins for everything they have all done to help me. I have learned so much these past few years about how to be a productive student. Perkins has been a safe zone for me ever since I started. Everyone at Perkins is so accepting and kind, I always feel like I fit in. I have never felt like an outcast at Perkins. This has made me feel comfortable enough to be myself and learn to my greatest potential.”
In addition to celebrating students, Perkins also honored several individuals in the community, recognizing them for their distinguished service to the Perkins community and beyond.
Juliette Willoughby, Esq. MSW, Owner Law Office of Juliette M. Willoughby of Counsel at Sequel Law Firm – In the field of Child Advocacy and Community Service Honored for her extraordinary work advocating for children and families in the region, as well as her commitment to social justice, equity, and inclusion for all.
Bob Watson, Chairman and CEO of LPM Holding Co. – In the field of Human Services Honored for his history of community service as well as his role in guiding RFK Children’s Action Corps through the affiliation process with Perkins.
Meg MacDonald, Director of Health Services – In the field of Health Services and supporting the Perkins Community Honored for her dedication to supporting the health and wellbeing of our communities at both Perkins and RFK Children’s Action Corps’ over the past year and her tireless commitment to manage the many facets of the agencies’ health and safety needs were vast and constantly evolving over the past year.
Megan McDonald, Student Services Coordinator – In Service to the Perkins Community Honored for her incredible commitment to the staff and students of the Perkins school community.
Dr. Michael Ames, President and CEO of Perkins, said in his welcome remarks, “Too often when students arrive here, their educational experience has been traumatic. For most, school has not been a good experience. Knowing this, we do everything we can to help students when they arrive feel comfortable and help them be themselves and to provide them with the support that they need to thrive. We strive to create a community that is welcoming, nurturing, and supports student learning and success. I know that for many of you graduating and/or completing 12th grade, at Perkins you found the support and guidance that allowed you to be yourself and achieve the success that has you here today. I also know that for many of you, the Perkins community has been important – each of you is also an important part of that Perkins community, both today, and forever forward.”
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