UHSSE Class of 2012 Has Much to Celebrate



Issue 15    September 14th, 2012 

UHSSE Class of 2012 Has Much to Celebrate

The 77 members of the University High School of Science and Engineering (UHSSE) Class of 2012 walked proudly across the Lincoln Theater stage on Wednesday evening, June 13, to accept their diplomas. And they had every right to be proud — all 77 graduates will be going on to two- or four-year colleges and universities, they have been awarded nearly $3 million in scholarships, and one of their classmates (Charles Wentzell) is the first National Merit Scholar in school history.

In addition, it was recently announced that UHSSE had received the top magnet high school award, theSecondary School of Merit Award from Magnet Schools of America (MSA), after having been previously been selected by MSA as a Magnet School of Excellence.

University of Hartford President Walter Harrison, who spoke at the graduation ceremony, referred back to the planning that went into starting the school when he said that, “Never did we dare to dream that this would be the best magnet high school in the country.”

In his remarks, President Harrison also said that he is proud to welcome 14 members of the UHSSE Class of 2012 – known as the "Encore Class" – to the University of Hartford Class of 2016. Among the other schools that the members of the Class of 2012 will be attending are: Morehouse College, Colby-Sawyer College, North Carolina A&T State University, the University of Connecticut, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

“Our class is unique and, without question, unforgettable,” said Yasmine Ali, the class speaker. “When I think of the people who make up the Encore Class, I am certain I am among people who will change the world. We have future politicians, leaders and teachers, the world’s future doctors who will work without borders, dancers, architects, engineers, athletes, and designers. We have entrepreneurs who will work to better our communities and astronauts who will discover wonders among the stars. We have the amazing spirits of girls and boys who dare to live as dreamers and believers.”

Bo-Edward Lawrence, who gave a spoken word performance with Ashley Richards, told his fellow graduates that “We have been dormant for years, hiding our talents and inspiration just waiting to spark and brighten the nights. The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match and each one of us is a fuse.”

The keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony was Matt Fleury, president and CEO of the Connecticut Science Center. He talked to the students about the choices that lay ahead of them and the twists and turns that their career paths may take. “Embrace the exciting reality that what you have earned under those graduation caps is a very powerful toolbox with which to navigate all of the possibilities for your future,” he said. “Every experience going forward is an opportunity to practice and hone those capabilities and enjoy that process.”

UHSSE opened on the University of Hartford's Asylum Avenue campus in 2004, making the University of Hartford the only private university in the nation to have two public magnet schools on its campuses. (The University of Hartford Magnet School, a pre-K through grade five school, opened in 2001). In 2009, University High School moved into a new building on Mark Twain Drive, on the University's main campus.

UHSSE was founded on the "Early College" model, in which qualified students can take college courses and earn credits for college while still attending high school. Fifty-one UHSSE students took classes at the University of Hartford during this past academic year.

Fourteen members of the UHSSE Class of 2012 plan to attend the University of Hartford. They include: Front Row (l-r) — Heather Winslow, Devado Ruddock, Brianna Barry, Terrina Copeland, Desiree Valencia, Kevin Bustamante. Back Row (l-r) — Bo-Edward Lawrence, Rawle Carryl, Joshua McGee, Bryan Figueroa, Roberto Colon, Kane Cross. Not pictured: Anibal Dones, Oshane Levy

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