, Salem, MA


June 7, 2013

Column: Inspiration at Salem High School

As another school year comes to an end and we prepare to send the next Salem High School class out into the “real world,” I have had the chance to reflect on this group of young women and men who will be graduating on June 7. Recently, the weekly broadcast of “SHS News” had a feature with a montage of interviews with seniors as they complete their four years. When asked what they would miss the most, student after student commented on the people — their friends and their teachers. When teachers are asked what they like the most about Salem High School, what do you think their answer is? Inevitably, it is the students.

This year’s senior class of 2013 has had more than its share of successes. Some are very noteworthy and public, like the list of colleges they were accepted to and the awards and scholarships they earned. However, other students have had more personal triumphs that often go unnoticed. Whatever the situation, each of this year’s graduates has their own unique story that they have authored and will leave behind. Below are three examples of SHS seniors who met challenges head on, made their mark, and will not be forgotten.

Growing up with English as her second language as well as a specific learning disability, Jennifer Pena-Moreta had these and other obstacles that most of her classmates did not have to deal with. However, Jennifer has never been one to make excuses. Her desire and determination has enabled her to be successful throughout high school. Jennifer spent countless hours after school with her teachers as she worked hard to stay up with her peers. She is forever thankful for the teachers and support she has had at Salem High School and in the Salem public schools. Unselfish, Jennifer gave up being a cheerleader so that she could earn money to help her family. She has been accepted to Salem State University, hoping to become the first person in her family to earn a college degree.

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