HEC Academy in Northampton Celebrates Graduates of 2024

Home E CES Stories E HEC Academy in Northampton Celebrates Graduates of 2024
Article Author: Kathy Levesque
Publication Name: Collaborative for Educational Services
Article Date: June 12, 2024
Article URL:

On Friday morning, June 7th, student graduates of HEC Academy gathered with family, friends, and teachers to celebrate their graduation from high school. The commencement ceremony was held at Union Station in Northampton, and featured comments from Pedro Gomes, Assistant Director Special Education; Todd H. Gazda, Executive Director at the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES); and Cathy Englehardt, Chair of the CES Board of Directors. The keynote speaker was Becky Brisbois, Village Closet Coordinator. 

This year’s graduates included Aidan Gaughan, Emily Klement, and Zoe Sise. Graduating students came from three different school districts within Hampshire County.  

During the course of the ceremony, Ben DeMarino scholarship recipients Trevor Makepeace and Veronica Dos Reis Paulino were announced. Graduates Zoe and Aidan received volunteer service honors from Becky Brisbois for their work at the Village Closet, and Emily received honors from Jordana Starr for all of her hours at Rabbit Rescue. George DeLise presented the Key Club Charter to our school, and David Starr presented the Key Club service pins to Zoe and Aidan.

 The HEC Academy KEY club’s goal is to increase community awareness for students at HEC Academy and provide transitional skills for students within our Northampton and Massachusetts community with monthly activities and outreach. Beginning in November of 2023, students worked with other Key Clubs including Northampton and the Kiwanis clubs of Northampton, Westfield and Holyoke. 

HEC Academy is a therapeutic, public day special education program for youth in grades 9-12, located in Northampton, MA; and managed by the Collaborative for Educational Services. The school provides a learning community that offers a broad range of evidence-based academic and therapeutic supports for our students that are strengths-based, empowering, and affirmative in nature; in a safe, diverse, and inclusive community which welcomes all students and supports the individual expression of our students’ identities.

To learn more, please visit the CES website.

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