Somersfield’s Class of 2021 makes history
Twelve students made history as the first group in their school to graduate with an International Baccalaureate diploma.
Somersfield Academy’s Class of 2021 attended a small ceremony last Friday on the field of the private school’s campus.
They were joined by Carlos Symonds, the principal, as well as their families – many of whom were encouraged to drive onto the field and watch from their cars.
Marco Sterling, 18, said that he did not anticipate graduating in a ceremony similar to a “drive-in movie theatre,” but added that it was more than he initially expected.
He said: “Way back before the pandemic I thought we were just going to have a normal graduation, but then as Covid-19 got worse I thought we weren’t going to have a physical graduation at all.
“I really appreciate the fact that the school worked hard to try and make it safe but also keep some nice traditions.”
He said that he would be attending Boston University’s College of Engineering in September.
Somersfield Academy used to educate children up to age 16, which forced pupils to find another school to participate in the IB programme and complete their high school education.
But it announced in 2019 that it would offer the diploma programme and allow pupils to complete their studies at the school.
Jacob Stephens, 17, said it was a “relief” to finally graduate. “It’s going to be a big change of pace – I’m sure everybody who’s graduated before can relate to the mix of fear and excitement we’re feeling.
“It’s a big honour to be the first graduating class of Somersfield – there’s a bit of pride in that because we’re the first kids to go all the way through.”
Jacob, from Hamilton Parish, admitted that completing the IB programme through online classes was challenging because he struggled to stay organised.
But he added: “I think going through our last few years of school online helped us adapt to what very well could be the new normal of the future.”
Jacob said that he planned to attend Framingham State University in Massachusetts to study history and education.
Paris Seymour, also 17, admitted that she found the IB programme difficult – but added that online classes were a breeze for her.
She added: “I was always planning to do college online, so this was good practice for me.
“I have always wanted to create video games and I find that when you do that you’re usually behind a screen working on codes or doing designs, so this was good practice.”
Paris, who will do online classes with Southern New Hampshire University in the US, said that she jumped on the opportunity to stay at Somersfield.
She said: “I was actually pretty upset to find before that we wouldn’t be able to graduate, so when this new opportunity came I was very excited to stay at Somersfield with my family.”