By John Seidenberg
Pinkerton Academy has recognized the top ten performing students for the 2020-21 year as the school begins implementing a fuller return to campus.
As announced by Dean of Students Susanne Tartarilla at the school before all of the highest ranking students, the graduating class valedictorian is Isabelle Limperis of Derry and the salutatorian is Shalley Nolan of Hampstead.
The additional 8 top senior class members in ranking order and their hometowns are:
3. Allyson Turner of Candia
4. Jawaria Ali of Hooksett
5. Chloe Sanders of Derry
6. Nathan Grabowski of Derry
7. Macy Graves of Hampstead
8. Vera Backman of Hampstead
9. Nicholas Burke of Derry, and
10. Jeremy Binda of Auburn
“You represent the best of the best that’s Pinkerton and not just in the classroom but outside the classroom,” Tartarilla told all of the honored students.
Headmaster Dr. Thomas Powers added his own commendation: “We’re all very proud of all that you’ve accomplished,” he said.
Powers also praised their work both in and outside the classroom as individuals and as members of the community.
With the pandemic this school year has followed a hybrid model of combined distance learning but increasingly moving to in-person instruction through a phased-in approach to coming back.
The revised guidelines of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services have enabled the return of more Pinkerton students, a goal Powers has supported to the degree possible.
Starting March 29, all seniors and freshman returned to campus for 4 days a week. Sophomores and juniors began following the same schedule on April 5.
Wednesdays are half days and remain full remote for everyone until the April vacation. After the break students who choose to may come full time 5 days a week.
Under an order last week from Gov. Chris Sununu, all K-12 schools were required to offer 5 days of in-person instruction a week starting Monday, April 19.
Procedures now in effect for all in-person Pinkerton students call for maintaining a distance of under 3 feet for periods of 10 minutes or more.
For any students whose families opt to stay with remote learning, that ability will be available through the end of the school year.
Some other school districts have been back in person since earlier in March though that has been a district-by-district determination. Some of those high school students are allowed a flex day for student-teacher meetings, organizational activities, or additional time for them to work on studies.
Some districts may be looking at expanded school sessions during the summer to help students in need make up any lost academic ground over the past year.
Pinkerton, which has more than 3,100 students in grades 9-12, is the largest high school in the state and the second largest in New England after Brockton High School in MA.
It has the unusual distinction of being a private school that also functions as the official public high school for Derry where it’s located and for the neighboring towns of Auburn, Candia, Chester, Hampstead, and Hooksett.