Red Clay News
Small Ceremony Has Big Meaning
Perseverance was the word of the evening. On Aug. 16, at the first-ever Red Clay Summer Commencement, every speaker used it, to congratulate the three graduates in attendance for not giving up when they weren’t able to finish high school with their class in June.
After meeting all requirements over the summer, students received their diplomas Thursday evening from Kevin Palladinetti, principal of Alexis I. duPont High School and Byron Murphy, principal of John Dickinson High School, in a small ceremony held at Thomas McKean High School.
Also there to speak, and note their accomplishment, was Board of Education President Leah Davis, Superintendent Merv Daugherty, Director of Secondary Schools Sam Golder and Director of District Services Burton Watson.
It turned out that speakers on the program outnumbered the students who came with their families for the occasion, but that wasn’t the point. Dr. Daugherty said the district wanted to mark the important landmark reached by the three teenagers.
“The district felt very strongly that we needed to honor these students, as we do those in June,” he told the small crowd. “This was an opportunity to give students a chance to avoid an obstacle, not having a high school diploma, and meet that goal…A diploma means a lot.”
Besides doubling average lifetime earnings, completing high school will open doors for the students. AIHS Graduate Ty’aire Wickes told Principal Palladinetti that he planned to attend Delaware Technical and Community College in the fall and continue on to Wilmington University to study marketing.
The ceremony meant a lot to Dickinson Graduate Gabriela Barreto, who came with a large contingent of family and friends and it also had meaning for JDHS Graduate Jacob Meredith, who seemed to marvel at the diploma in his hands.
“I’m surprised,” he said. “I didn’t think I would be coming here today. This is just about the biggest accomplishment of my life at this point.”
Information on this page maintained by Pati Nash