Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School graduated the largest class in its history on Wednesday, June 5, with 343 students crossing the football field to collect their diplomas.
Luis Lopes, superintendent for a regional district encompassing nine communities, including Brockton, Stoughton, Easton, Mansfield, Norton, Sharon, Foxborough, East Bridgewater and West Bridgewater, congratulated the graduates with a stern encouragement not to let senior year mark the end of their education.
Southeastern excels in preparing its students for the workforce, he said, teaching subjects as disparate as nurse assisting, auto collision repair and advertising design, which students practice at “co-ops” in the private sector. Lopes said students earned more than $820,000 this year as part of that program.
But the superintendent also spoke of a labor market that requires more adaptation than ever before.
“Fifty one years ago, in 1968, the first Southeastern graduating class crossed the stage with the skill that they could count on for gainful employment for approximately 34 years,” Lopes said. “In 1989, the skills they learned in school would guarantee employment for 16 years before they began lagging behind.”
By 2005, that number had fallen to eight years and, for today’s graduating class, Lopes said workers who do not commit to lifelong learning would see a skills mismatch within just four years.
“At first, this might seem like daunting statistic, but for me it promises a future of amazing revolutions and opportunities,” said the superintendent. “Embrace change, challenge yourself to remain relevant for these new experiences by taking control of your own learning.”
Lopes also paid respects to the teachers and administrators leaving the school this summer, including Principal Dave Degan.
Valedictorian Jenna Goldberg extended a warm thank you to staff during her address as well: “To the teachers, administration and every person working behind the scenes, you have pushed us when no one was watching made sure we were having a good day, and prepared us for the world we are about to enter into.”
Kayin Adeniji, Eldeniza Afonso Gomes, Amanda Beninati, Briyella Bernard, Asia Bethelmie, William Campbell, Sara Campos, Christopher Chabre, Allison Coppinger, Brett Cronin, Bailey Duclos, Monica Espinoza, Lauren Fox, Mark Fraga, Gabriel Garcia, Jenna Goldberg, John Goldberg, Hannah LaCivita, Isaac Lazarian, Anthony Lewandowski, Scott Lewandowski, Myles Maben McMichael, Benjamin Mallock, Eric Marley, Jesse Morrell, Samantha Munafo, Jay Noonan, Damon O'Leary-Guiod, Brandon Raymond, Sabrina Sbardella, Brenna Shedin, Kim Tran, Shaye Trotta, Sydney Zavolta.