More And More Everett Kids Are Going to School
By Kate Resnek
Eighty percent of Everett High School seniors will be going off to a two or four-year college or university next year. That number is very likely the highest in the school’s history.
Mrs. McCormack, the head of the guidance department, and the senior class guidance counselor Stanley Chamblain attribute this increase to a slew of changes in policy in the last few years.
“When I started at this school the graduation rate was at sixty percent,” said Kathleen McCormack, the director of the guidance department.
EHS has recently begun to offer free practice SAT testing for sophomores. This is just one of many ways the guidance department is trying to plant the seed and idea of college early said Chamblain and McCormack.
“Some kids don’t even know what the SAT is when they enter school here,” said Chamblain and he said the key is getting kids talking about their future as early as possible.
“Every year there was a topic of discussion,” said Chamblain about how students are being coached about college each year.
As guidance director McCormack has sent the guidance counselors to several professional development courses including one attended by Mr. Chamblain at Harvard University. These programs have led to “a lot of transformation,” according to Chamblain.
The professional and dedicated McCormack seemed to be looking to the future for the school and more importantly the individual kids.
When talking with students it was obvious that they had connected with the enthusiastic Chamblain who has been with them since freshman year.
The Everett Leader Herald spoke with several bright students who will be attending prestigious colleges and universities with help from the guidance department.
The Herald spoke with students who will be attending: Suffolk University, Umass Dartmouth, Umass Amherst, Umass Lowell, Boston University, Columbia University, Fitchburg State and Salem State.
We did speak with students attending these universities but of the almost 500 graduates there will be many going to other universities as well as into the workforce and armed forces.
The number of students going into the military has risen to about seven percent according due to the inclusion of a new military science class run by the army according to McCormack.
The kids that met with the Leader Herald seemed incredibly enthusiastic for their upcoming year despite just having finished up with a tiring finals season. Many kids were wearing merchandise from their future schools proudly.
But everything isn’t all a dream for these kids. With an application process that is nearly impossible to navigate on one’s own and the price of higher education skyrocketing it’s difficult for even straight-A students to follow the full extent of their dreams.
“I’m glad it’s over,” said seventeen-year-old Reggie Jean who will be attending The University of Massachusetts Amherst next year of the application process which was made even more difficult this year when the application deadline for federal financial aid was moved up to October.
Lucas Bermudez who was accepted to his dream school Bentley University but said he will be attending Umass Lowell for financial reasons. Bentley’s tuition is currently at 66,000 dollars a year and it is not alone in steep cost.
Bermudez expressed interest in perhaps transferring after one or two years at UMass which is an option many students are considering. But in 2018 even going to a state school is close to 30,000 dollars a year including room and board.
Everett High has done its best to offer information on scholarships and loans said McCormack and Chamblain so that “any student” can find a way to pay for college.
The school has also increased its invovlment in a program that allows students to have dual enrollment with Bunker Hill Community College and the high school. Not only does the college credit save students money but McCormack says that the program can help to “reengage” students who may have previously dropped out and think themselves too old to return to the school.
“Students receive a Bunker Hill I.D. and walk around campus. It helps them to believe college is a goal that is achievable,” Said McCormack.
This increase in price is why Everett High has added more vocational and practical programs for students who may choose to enter the workforce.
Another student that the Leader Herald talked to was Helber Fagundes who plays for the Crimson Tide football team as a Lineman.
Fagundes will be attending UMass Amherst on a full scholarship next year with help from the athletics department.
Other students the Leader herald spoke with were interested in majoring in everything from mechanical engineering to psychology to film.
The decision of majors came to some students because of a class with a favorite teacher or to some because of extracurriculars. Amanda Burns who will be attending Fitchburg State University said she became interested in nursing after joining the school’s Allied Health Academy which gives students interested in a career in the medical field a chance to explore their interests.
Matthew Charles who will be attending UMass Lowell expressed his desire to get his degree and return to Everett High and be a guidance counselor like Chamblain and McCormack in order to “make a difference.”