Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School celebrates graduation

Artist and poet Dan Waters advised the nine members of the Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School graduation class to be kind in his commencement address delivered Sunday. — Photo by Susan Safford

Cloudy skies gave way to sun as the nine members of the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School’s class of 2012 celebrated their graduation on Sunday, June 3. The ceremony was held on the school grounds.

Erica Bartlett, Emma Bleiler, Cherilla “Coco” Brown, Elias “Eli” Brown, Aedan Greene, Gavin Harrer, Anna “Zen” Hughes, Meagan McDonough, and Jake Meegan sported wreaths of blue flowers and dress clothes in place of caps and gowns.

The class chose Dan Waters, who has volunteered as a mentor at the Charter School, as the commencement speaker. Mr. Waters, named West Tisbury’s first Poet Laureate in 2006, is currently the secretary of the West Tisbury Library’s Board of Trustees.

“My advice comes down to this: Always, always be kind,” Mr. Waters told the students.

“College is expensive,” he added. “The economy is in terrible shape. Jobs are scarce, so let me offer some career advice: Treat others as you would be treated.”

Two of the four graduates who gave remarks had high praise for their school experience.

“Even though I’m still inventing myself, the Charter School gave me a stalwart base of confidence that I’ll carry with me for my entire life,” Ms. Hughes said.

“I am so grateful for the Charter School, which has allowed me to study and exhibit my understanding of my interests, to explore nature, to explore myself, and to develop important academic and life skills,” Mr. Meegan noted.

Each student was honored with an award unique to his or her individual interest, and a gift from another class in the school. The graduates will each receive a $500 scholarship upon enrollment in college or continuing education from Options in Education, the Charter School’s non-profit corporation in charge of fundraising. Five students received scholarships from a variety of Island organizations.