The Longview School recognized its seniors through a highly individualized graduation ceremony over a three-day period on June 17-19. Members of the 2020 graduating class – the largest since the school opened 19 years ago – were able to be back on campus for the first time since March and be recognized one at a time in front of their families, teachers and administrators.
The school, which provides education and therapeutic services to high school students, used its 154-acre campus for the ceremony to allow for proper social distancing and safety. Ceremonies were individualized and staggered so that one student graduated at a time with their closest family members and school staff present to celebrate safely. There were a lot of laughs, some tears and plenty of celebratory hoots and hollers as each senior received their diploma.
“This class of nine students had to push through the final stretch with senioritis and remote learning. Despite the challenges of both they all made it! Our ceremonies always have a personalized touch, but this year each senior was celebrated by all staff sharing fond memories, best wishes and reflections on how they’ve grown over their years at Longview.
We are excited to hear how each of these students do in ‘book two, chapter one’ of this next big step in their lives,” said Tom Jennings, Longview’s principal.
Several of the seniors were recognized for their stellar performance throughout the school year. They included the following:
- Robert Bzdula received both the award for “Highest Academic Achievement,” and “Student of the Year,” for his consistent positive engagement behaviorally and academically.
- Aaron Newhall received the award, “Best Overall Adventure Based Counseling Average,” for his enthusiasm and leadership demonstrated on all adventures he was a part of.
- Connor Jawidzik received the award, “Most Improved,” for tremendous growth in overcoming his fears, engaging in all the adventure days and developing confidence through these experiences.
The graduating class included the following students:
Robert Bzdula – Bow
Trevor Hiltz – Fremont
Connor Jawidzik – Candia
Bryce Langlois – Danville
Aaron Newhall – Derry
Noah Sylvia – Manchester
Ricky Vlen – Pittsfield
Danny Virgin – Epsom
Trevor Wilusz – Manchester
Amanda Reed, director of the Regional Services and Education Center’s (RSEC) Vista Learning Center program, has been named a regional “Emerging Special Education Leader” by the Association of Special Education Administrators (NHASEA). She was formally recognized during a ceremony on Zoom on June 12 for her work in the field of special education administration.
She started at the RSEC Academy as a middle teacher in 2014. When Vista was launched in 2018, she served as a special education teacher and moved into the director role a year later. Reed is working towards becoming a special education administrator and recently earned her master’s degree in Curriculum Instruction with a concentration in Educational Leadership.
“Through reading, research and coursework, Amanda’s love of teaching shines through constantly as she expands her own knowledge of education and teaching, and then eagerly shares this knowledge with her educational team and students. We’re so proud of her gaining this recognition and know it will open even more doors for her as she continues to support children and families in and out of the classroom,” said Judy Koch, executive director of RSEC.
Criteria to consider in nominating an Emerging Special Education Leader are:
- Currently works in the field of special education (less than five years)
- Demonstrates potential and has a general interest in becoming a special education administrator
- Is a newly certified special education administrator with less than five years on the job
- Applicant may have experience with varied roles in the district
- Inquisitive lifelong learner
- Positive and productive
- Family/community engagement
- Strong communication, facilitation and interpersonal skills
“This award not only recognizes you for your leadership skills, but also for the countless hours and dedication you have provided to the field of special education,” said NHASEA Executive Director Jane Bergeron-Beaulieu in a letter of congratulations.
The Vista Learning Center program teaches students, so they increase their academic knowledge in parallel with social thinking skills that are essential to navigating the ever-present demands in life. The learning approach integrates parents, students, school staff and other service providers, to create a community of trust, respect and understanding.