What advice do you have for next year’s seniors?
Quander Road School Principal Joe Thompson is actually fond of the iPhone intelligence Siri chirping “re-routing” during route guidance.
In his remarks to the 12 graduating seniors at the school for students with mental health and behavioral challenges, Thompson used Siri to congratulate them on reaching their goal.
“Each of you has taken a completely different way to get here,” he said at the June 7 ceremony held in the school’s gymnasium. “Now, it’s second nature for us.”
Students at Quander come from their base schools around Fairfax County for a more intimate and specialized learning environment. With a support staff of nurses, counselors and teachers, the students are offered an opportunity to work through their challenges and in some cases return to their base school.
“It’s completely therapeutic in nature,” said United States and Virginia government teacher Dr. George Deneault. “The kids need and deserve to be here.”
With just a fraction of the graduates of a larger base school, the Quander ceremony was able to be much more personal.
Members of the faculty put together a “Minute Memories” film of the graduates that included baby and childhood pictures, as well as some footage from graduation rehearsal.
Then, as a courtesy for photo-hungry parents, siblings and guardians, each graduate paused on the stage after receiving their diploma while school counselor Adrian Williams read a closing statement written by the student.