The following is a press release from Blythedale Children's Hospital:
Nine students at the Mt. Pleasant Blythedale Union Free School District (MPB) marked a significant milestone in their young lives as they graduated from eighth grade during a poignant moving up and awards ceremony on June 22, 2012. The event centered on “Pathways,” a fitting theme chosen by the students and carried through every element of the morning.
“The concept of alternative, nontraditional pathways to a goal is certainly synonymous with Mt. Pleasant Blythedale,” said Superintendent Ellen Bergman, Ed.D. during her welcoming remarks. She shared notable quotes from each of the graduates. “The students’ selections speak to the differing journeys each will take on the road to adulthood. Each will be different, reflecting unique strengths and weaknesses of the traveler.”
During the ceremony, several MPB students received awards to honor academic achievements, as well as exceptional character and leadership potential. The Student Council presented a gift to New York State Board of Education Board of Regents Member Harry Phillips, III, who represents students in the Hudson Valley. The student representatives expressed deep appreciation to Regent Phillips for “all the work you are doing in advocating for the students who need other options for diplomas,” said one student. “We hope that you continue to fight for us as we continue to believe in you.”
The nine eighth graders were presented with certificates of completion and left the ceremony as rising ninth-graders. Before the dismissal, one student read from a story written in collaboration by all the eighth grade students. “We did not choose this road, but we can choose what lies ahead,” the students wrote. “We should be proud of you for helping us choose the right path,” they concluded in gratitude to their families, teachers and therapists.
The Mt. Pleasant Blythedale (MPB) UFSD was chartered by the New York State legislature as a Special Act school district in 1971. MPB is the only public school district in New York created to educate a hospital population. MPB students include children and adolescents receiving rehabilitation and medical services as inpatients and day hospital patients at Blythedale Children’s Hospital.