An enthusiastic crowd of families, staff and well-wishers packed the Old North Church last Friday to celebrate the class of 2011 as they graduated from North Bennet Street School.
At total of 91 students received diplomas signifying their success in one of the school’s eight professional crafts-training programs – bookbinding, carpentry, cabinet and furniture making, jewelry making and repair, locksmithing, piano technology, preservation carpentry and violin making and repair.
After welcoming remarks by the chairman of the school’s Board of Directors, Charles Kline, North Bennet Street School President Miguel Gomez-Ibanez introduced guest speaker Robert B. Schwartz, Academic Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Schwartz co-authored “Pathways to Prosperity” a report published earlier this year saying that the American education system’s emphasis on students attending and graduating from a four-year colleges is not meeting students’ or society’s needs.
“All students should be given a chance to thrive,” said Schwartz in referencing the report’s findings. “It should be about giving kids at age 16 or 17 enough information about various career paths to let them choose what’s best for them.”
Established in 1885 as a community-service and career-training center, the North Bennet Street School (www.nbss.edu) is an iconic North End institution and one of the country’s leading schools devoted to the instruction and preservation of craftsmanship. The school regularly draws students from across the U.S. and around the world.