Senator Jo Comerford (D) was the keynote commencement speaker at HEC Academy graduation services, held the morning of June 7th, 2019 at Smith College’s Sage Hall in Northampton. “Your education has been like a spark, and your job now is to turn that spark into a torch,” Comerford told the students. “Don’t let anybody tell you there’s only one road to get where you’re going!”
In addition to Senator Comerford, this year’s alumni speaker was Ani Caron, a member of the HEC Academy class of 2015, currently serving in the US Force. Caron, granted leave to return to HEC Academy, flew up from Florida to share her story and her observations about this milestone event for this year’s graduates. “No matter what cards you are dealt, you have control over your own destiny,” said Caron. “You are more powerful than you know.”
HEC Academy, a public day special education program located in Northampton, for students between 14 and 21, honored eleven students this year, from Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden County sending school districts. HEC Academy offers a small-school learning environment for high school students with learning disabilities and/or social, emotional, or behavioral challenges. We offer a structured, consistent, emotionally supportive environment based on positive reinforcement. Students work individually and in small groups on academics, social skills, recreation and community service, and earn credits towards high school graduation from their sending schools.