, Salem, MA

Local News

June 6, 2013

'This school is a godsend'

14 earn diplomas at Northshore Recovery High School


Teacher Mary Devin said Nick Jenkins spent so much time out of the classroom that she wanted to nominate him for the “Hallway of Fame.” Jenkins, from Hamilton, ended up making the honor roll and plans to study health science at North Shore Community College.

“Just about everything has turned around for the better,” Jenkins said. “Everyone said I’d never make it. No one believed me until now, and it’s the best feeling.”

Teacher Jake Kessler said graduate Allister Hampton’s desire to learn piano has rekindled his own interest in the instrument.

“I believe there is great potential in the person standing next to me,” Kessler said of Hampton.

Ian Monroe-Belcher of Salem said that when he arrived at Northshore Recovery as a freshman, “I was 15 and moving 100 miles per minute.” He said he was eating Adderall “like candy” and was sure he would end up in jail.

“I was naive, unsure and lost,” he said. “Then being here, little by little, my eyes have opened.”

When Denison Novas-Avila of Gloucester showed up as a freshman, teachers said he was so introverted he barely spoke. This year he improved his MCAS math score by 30 points and danced on stage at the Wang Theatre. He speaks three languages and is considering becoming an interpreter.

“I am proud of myself,” he said. “I hung in there and didn’t give up. I have accomplished a lot of great things at this school and I’m proud to say I finally made it.”

Many of the students praised their parents and families for sticking by them through tough times. All of the students praised the staff and teachers as caring and the environment as supportive.

“For the first time I felt like I fit in,” Kelsy Thompson of Salem said. “This school was my backbone. I got off probation, made the honor roll and became a teacher’s pet.”

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