E.O. Smith Depot graduates gain real-world experience
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Mansfield - posted Tue., Jun. 28, 2011
Twelve seniors had the opportunity to share experiences from their high school careers at the E.O. Smith Depot Campus Senior Celebration on June 17. This is the second year in which Depot is graduating students, since the program’s inception in 2009.
Based on The Big Picture model of learning, Depot Campus provides a “non-traditional educational experience for students who have demonstrated the need for a smaller and more personal instructional setting,” according to the program’s website.
“The traditional setting doesn’t serve everybody,” said Depot Director Brad Martin. Students who are struggling in the traditional high school environment are identified via cooperation between teachers, administrators, guidance counselors and Depot staff.
At Depot, students are offered an individualized program that is tailored to their specific interests. The Big Picture model places an importance upon adult-student relationships. Students work closely with advisors Shannon Rose and Stephen Hill, and are expected to spend at least two full days a week participating in an off-campus internship. Internships are provided by the local community, and have included local fire departments, hair salons, bakeries, auto shops, daycare centers, and a wide variety of other businesses.
A testament to the respect the program is gaining was a letter written by the family of Timothy Quinn, a resident who lived near the Depot campus. Quinn passed away earlier this year, and his family wrote to say, “He loved that he was asked to be a mentor.” The letter continued, “He loved that he was asked to be the first Depot Campus commencement speaker.” The letter spoke of students who were ready to help maintain nearby trails and who visited Quinn when he was sick, describing teens who were productive and polite members of the neighborhood.
Depot seniors who received diplomas at the E.O. Smith graduation ceremony on June 23 are: Justin Crosthwaite, interned in forestry; Jagade Eaddy-Boykin, interned in a daycare kitchen and as a kindergarten assistant; Brittany Dupuis, interned as a dental assistant and will attend QVCC and Tunxis for dental hygiene; Josh Norman, interned in a motorcycle repair/sales shop; Michael Goodale, interned as an instructional assistant with a transitional program for students aged 18-21; Samantha Pierson, interned at Kid’s Express daycare; Katrina Mahoney, interned at the UConn Bakery and will attend Manchester Community College to study culinary arts; Haleigh Gelineau, interned at Elegant Edge Hair Salon; Ashley Desloge, interned at Mansfield Discovery Depot daycare and will attend QVCC for Early Childhood Education; Cody Dunston-Jones, interned in video game design and marketing and is graduating with 27 college credits, a published book, and plans to attend QVCC; and Galen Riordan, interned at Charter Public Access and Pulse Integration (bullying prevention and relationship building) and plans to attend Southern New Hampshire University as part of a Big Picture Learning college program. Jonathan Carrier, who interned at NAPA Auto Parts and Willard’s Hardware Store, is scheduled to graduate in August.