The New England Laborers’ Cranston Public School Construction & Career Academy celebrated its Class of 2023 at the Park Theater on June 8, 2023. Surrounded by administration, friends, and …
The New England Laborers’ Cranston Public School Construction & Career Academy celebrated its Class of 2023 at the Park Theater on June 8, 2023. Surrounded by administration, friends, and loved ones, 38 students received their diplomas.
The Executive Director of the cooperative program between Cranston Schools and the New England Laborers’ International Union of North America, Lindsey Tavares, gave opening remarks thanking staff and students for a smooth first year in the position.
“Every person on this staff is a generous combination of teacher, mentor, mediator, cheerleader, resource provider, coach, and advocate,” she told guests.
Tavares acknowledged parents and caregivers as well.
“Without your never-ending support, your children may never have reached this ceremony today,” she said.
She also acknowledged the maturity and courage of Construction & Career Academy graduates in choosing to break from the crowd.
“This was a remarkable choice at such a young age,” she said, “and a mindset and boldness and a knowing of yourself that I hope you continue to practice throughout your lives.”
Of the 38 graduates, seven have chosen to continue their relationship with the LIUNA by becoming construction apprentices in Pomfret, Connecticut and 22 students will be headed to CCRI in the fall, taking advantage of two years of CCRI for no cost. Others are pursuing military careers and other types of apprenticeships.
“You all have amazing gifts to give,” Tavares concluded. “Please pay it forward. And finally, please say yes to free training and education.”
Mayor Kenneth Hopkins’ speech helped focus graduates on the possibilities of success in the face of adversity, taking risks, and calling on mentors for guidance throughout their careers.
Hopkins noted public projects that succeeded after long periods of adversity, like the Park Theater itself, noting a widespread revitalization of the City of Cranston.
Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse addressed the crowd tenderly, focusing on the transition of children to adults. To illustrate this point, she read from the book “Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You,” by Nancy Tillman.
New England Assistant Regional Manager of the LIUNA Christopher Sabitoni addressed graduates as well as acknowledged Executive Director Lindsey Tavares for a job well done during the past school year.
“When you go out into the world, have confidence that you are prepared to face obstacles in a new and very complex world,” he told graduates.
Sabitoni mentioned school highlights like providing students exposure to the hospitality industry, the expansion of the construction pathway, and the public projects that were completed with the assistance of students.
He also noted the benefits of joining the construction industry at this point.
“We are seeing construction work projected out for many years,” he said. "Now is an instant career with family-supporting wages and benefits.”
The Citywide School Committee Chair, and Former Mayor, Michael Traficante told graduates how proud he, the faculty, and the entire City of Cranston are of students.
“We are extremely, extremely proud of you,” Traficante said. “We’re proud of your dreams, we’re proud of your glory, and your gall – your fighting hearts.”
Graduating senior Chase Iacono earned the Senior Class Valedictorian Medal. He will move on to a career as an auto mechanic. Jynessa Ferreira earned the title of Senior Class Salutatorian. She will begin Rhode Island College in the fall and hopes to work towards becoming a veterinarian.