|Retiring Classical principal Warren White and wife Beverly look on while getting serenaded by students before receiving the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators’ Association’s Principal of the Year Award Monday in the school's gym. (Item Photo / Reba M. Saldanha)|
Students, Local Luminaries Honor Retiring Classical Principal White
LYNN - Students and
local delegates serenaded Classical High School Principal Warren White with
songs, speeches and even break dancing Monday afternoon in a pep-rally-like
ceremony honoring the retiring educator.
Although the event served as a way for students to say goodbye to the popular White, the true purpose of the day was to present the principal with the 2009 Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators’ Association’s Principal of the Year Award.
White was selected first from a pool of hundreds of nominated principals from the state last month, and is now in the running for the National Association of Secondary School Principals Principal of the Year Award announced later this year.
In a loud, raucous show of support for the 37-year Lynn Public School veteran, students cheered loudly at every chance from his entrance into the gym to his final speech reminding students that even though the school year is almost over, all of their hard work would go out the window if they did not prepare for final exams.
“Standing here getting this honor I am reminded that nobody does it alone — not one person does anything alone and that is why I wanted to have this ceremony here at the school,” he said. “It has been a great pleasure and honor to be a part of Lynn Classical High School as your principal and a great way to be a part of the Lynn Public Schools.”
A strong supporter of White throughout his tenure, Mayor Edward J. Clancy Jr. praised the principal for his honor, but also reminded everyone that the students and faculty at the school are the key to his success.
“The success that Mr. White has achieved is a reflection of everyone’s hard work and cooperation,” he said. “The students, faculty and everyone in this building n no one can rise to the top without a great deal of cooperation. This is a great day for Warren, but also a great recognition of the success that this school is enjoying.”
Along with his own award, LCHS has enjoyed success in several areas under White, who will have completed five years as principal upon his retirement. During his time, the school has been twice named one of the top high schools in America by U.S. News and World Report, achieved some of the top MCAS scores in the city and has had countless students receive individual awards.
“Warren has always been a Classical guy from when he was a student here (White graduated in 1966) to when he was vice principal (in the late 1980s), but one thing Warren has also always been is a class guy,” said MSSAA Executive Michael Connelly. “When talking about Classical, Warren never says ‘my school’ or that it is ‘his school’ it has always been what are we doing for ‘our school’ referring to it as ‘our school.’”
With all students from freshman, sophomore and junior classes in attendance, several graduated seniors also returned to send White off.
Following a performance of the National Anthem by the school chorus, White was serenaded by two students to the song ‘This is the Moment’ and then looked on as — in what has to be a first for a MSSAA award ceremony — the school’s “Beat Boys” break dancing team put on a show in the gymnasium’s center court.
Along with Clancy and Connelly, Superintendent Catherine Latham and Deputy Superintendent Jaye Warry came to support White, Latham calling him a “pleasure” to work with.
Although White only has two weeks left in the school year, he is technically not leaving the office until his contract expires at the end of August.
Above: Superintendent of Schools Catherine Latham, Asst Superintendent Jaye Warry, Principal Warren White, Michael Connelly from the Mass. Department of Education, and Mayor Edward Clancy
Mayor Clancy presents a Certificate from the City of Lynn to Principal White as Mrs. White joins them.
A special chorus sings to the Assembly.
Cara Garrity speaks of Mr. Whites long career in the Lynn Schools as MC Cristian Lopez looks on.
Cassandra Murkison recites a poem. Juliana Davis sings "You are Our Hero"
Brianda Agramonte and Tyler Gioachini serenade Mr. White.
The Classical BreakDancers get in the act.
Mr. White gives his last official speech as Principal.
The chorus, with props, sings a goodbye to Mr. White.
Students say their goodbyes.