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Staff Writer

TOWNSEND — A smaller graduation took place at North Middlesex Regional High School (NMRHS) three days before the senior class matriculated June 6.

The 12 graduates of the Future Educators Academy were the initial class and the academy is the first of its kind in the state, put in place by Julia Bressler, Assistant Supt. Dr. Deborah Brady and Kate Guziejka.

Unlike other high school offerings to juniors and seniors, the academy offers accredited college courses — Foundations in Education I and II — for students who think they might want to go into education. They earn three college credits through an articulation agreement with Northern Essex Community College, transferable to any state and most private colleges.

The students research educational policy, the history of education, differing teaching areas and grade levels. During the course they all do several days of student teaching.

Should they decide teaching is not for them, the students still have learned valuable skills they can take apply to work in industry. The skills apply to careers in business, marketing, media, corporate training and other areas.

Guziejka asked if any teacher wanted to address the graduates. One who did was well-respected science teacher Jon Sweatman, who is retiring this month after 35 years in the school.

“You have been challenged in my classroom and I have also asked you to do your best on the soccer field and on the Powderpuff football field. We’ve laughed and have had a great deal of fun. The memories are vivid and long-lasting for me and I do truly cherish all of them,” Sweatman said before he listed the lessons he hoped they had learned from him.

First and foremost is that hard work pays off, Sweatman said.

“You get a 7 for being right and a 10 for going the extra distance and learning more. An ‘A’ is the toughest grade to get. Apply this to your life,” he said.

One must enjoy what they are doing, for there are many miserable people in the world who do not do so, he said.

“Gentlemen, treat the ladies in your life as the princesses they deserve to be treated as. If you don’t, life gets really difficult, really quick,” Sweatman advised.

“Ladies, demand (such treatment). If you don’t you are going to make your life difficult really quick,” he continued.

Sweatman said, “You have made a mark here I expect that you strive to be the best doctor, nurse, computer technician, mechanic, armed serviceman, mother, father or teacher you can be. Do not settle for anything less.

“Be good to yourself and others. Be remembered as a truly good person. Stay positive, enthusiastic and never forget the good things you have experienced here,” Sweatman concluded.

The list of graduating future educators includes William Burke Bero III, Elizabeth Blowers, Tannis Boyajian, Rishard Buck, Rebecca Burns, Stephanie Cercone, Christina Csiscek, Stefanie Diloreto, Nicole Edwardsen, Lauren Fratturelli, Lauren Magee and Ben Niemiera.

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