Cheers and applause rang from Old North Church on Salem Street Friday, June 1 as an overflow crowd of families, staff and well-wishers celebrated the 2012 graduating class of North Bennet Street School.
The occasion was an especially joyous one for the school, as those in attendance also celebrated the recent news that the school will purchase two city-owned buildings on the corner of North and Richmond streets in the North End to serve as its new and expanded home.
A total of 89 men and women received diplomas marking their success in one of the school’s eight career-oriented disciplines – bookbinding, carpentry, jewelry making, locksmithing, preservation carpentry, violin making, piano technology and cabinet and furniture making.
After welcoming remarks by the school’s board chairman Charles Kline, North Bennet Street School president Miguel Gomez-Ibanez introduced guest speaker Karen M. Keane, Partner and CEO of Skinner, Inc., the internationally renowned art auction house.
Keane is an experienced appraiser with specialties in furniture, fine art and decorative arts. She is also a familiar face on the PBS Emmy Award-winning TV series “The Antiques Roadshow,” appearing as one of the show’s appraisal experts.
“You are the makers of objects today that appraisers like me will evaluate in the future,” said Keane.
Society and culture are remembered over time by what they leave behind, Keane observed. “What you create will provide tangible clues as to who we are as a people,” she said.
“You are about to go off and do important work. We are counting on you to make it beautiful and to make it good.”
Established in 1885 as a social-service and career-training center, North Bennet Street School(www.nbss.edu) is a North End institution and one of the country’s leading schools devoted to the teaching and preservation of traditional craftsmanship. The school regularly draws students from across theU.S. and around the world.
A complete list of 2012 graduates by department can be found here: http://www.nbss.edu/about/news/graduation-2012/index.aspx