NEL/CPS grads have 'just begun to shine'

Posted 7/2/20

The New England Laborers'/Cranston Public Schools Construction & Career Academy's class of 2020, the 15th in the charter school's history, has "e;distinguished itself in so many ways,"e; Executive Director Dennis Curran said during his

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NEL/CPS grads have 'just begun to shine'


Watch the full NEL/CPS graduation video here.

The New England Laborers’/Cranston Public Schools Construction & Career Academy’s class of 2020, the 15th in the charter school’s history, has “distinguished itself in so many ways,” Executive Director Dennis Curran said during his remarks in the school’s virtual graduation ceremony.

With 35 graduates, this year’s class is the school’s largest yet, Curran said. Two of those graduates are going on to join the military, and two are joining the workforce. Twelve will pursue higher education, and 19 – another record number – will join the Laborers’ union.

The class, Curran added, is also the “first, and hopefully the last, to participate in a virtual graduation ceremony.”

Noting that many of this year’s graduates were born in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, Curran asked the students to reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic unfolding during such an important and formative time in their lives.

“Maybe you were chosen to change the world,” he said, adding: “Prove your value by living your values. Do good, do right, and be something. Good luck.”

School Committee member Michael Traficante also shared a message of hope despite the challenges this year has brought.

“Despite of it all, the pandemic has not and will take away your spirit and enthusiasm that you have consistently exhibited … Your light, I assure you, has just begun to shine,” he said.

Armand Sabitoni, Laborers’ International Union of North America general secretary-treasurer and New England regional manager, told the graduates their experience at the charter school has provided them with “the educational foundation for lifelong learning.”

“If there is one lesson that you can count on in life, it is always to remember that no one ever achieves their goals alone,” he said. “When you have the right team behind you, you can accomplish anything.”

Mayor Allan Fung, Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse and School Committee Chairman Daniel Wall also addressed the graduates through recorded speeches included in the virtual ceremony.

The Cranston High School East Chorale performed the national anthem at the outset of the ceremony, while the Cranston East JROTC Color Guard presented the colors virtually.

Following the speeches, the video presentation includes images and brief testimonials from each of this year’s graduates. It also features a montage of photos from the past year.

The full ceremony can be viewed on demand on Capitol TV, which can be found on the General Assembly’s website,


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