As is the annual tradition, the big white tent went up and the Recognition Day ceremony of the Doctor Franklin Perkins School was held with aplomb and to great fanfare on Saturday, June 27. This year’s event marked the completion of the agency’s 119th year of operation. It also marked the final ceremony with Dr. Charles P. Conroy as the agency’s Executive Director. Dr. Conroy will be retiring after 28 years in the leadership position, making this year’s special occasion all the more poignant. Rev. Tomasz Borkowski, of Saint Patrick Parish in Whitinsville and long-time friend of Perkins, delivered the invocation. Twenty-one students accepted well-earned diplomas and certificates of completion on Manor Lawn, receiving heartfelt congratulations from education administrators and Stanley B. Starr, Jr.,Vice President of the Board of Trustees, as they proudly walked across the stage.
Rachel LaBrie delivered the student address, reminding the audience filled with graduates, parents, Perkins trustees, community leaders, and Distinguished Service Award recipients, of Harriet Tubman’s affirming words: “Every great dream beings with a dreamer. Always remember you have the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Ms. LaBrie spoke with the emotion and personal insight that comes from working through difficult circumstances when she reminded both peers and adults to battle back against hard times when they inevitably come throughout life.
As is customary at the Recognition Day Ceremonies, several community members were presented with Distinguished Service Awards. The 2015 award recipients included: Dr. David A. Jordan, President/CEO, Seven Hills Foundation; Gordon B. Lankton, Founder, Museum of Russian Icons; James S. Hastings, Principal, Clinton Middle School; Jan Gottesman, Editor, The Item; David R. Masiello, President, R.P. Masiello and Lisa C. Harrington, Perkins Controller.
Spectacular chorale selections led by Perkins’s talented music instructor, William Carrier, and the always thrilling “slide show” picture montage by Director of Organizational Advancement Kerry Flathers, capped off a perfect ceremony. Guests were treated to a wonderful lunch prepared and served by our food services team.