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HHS and Whittier Students Participate in Early College  

Submitted by on May 16, 2018 – 1:28 pm

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School students who participated in NECC’s Early College Program pose for a group photo.

When Alexandria Hogan of Haverhill heads of to Salem State University in the fall, she will take 34 Northern Essex Community College credits with her.

The 18-year-old Hogan was just one of 68 area high school students, 27 from Haverhill High School and 41 from Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, to participate in the Early College Recognition Ceremony held in NECC’s Sport & Fitness Center on the Haverhill campus recently. Family members and friends attended the event.

Early College is a partnership between Northern Essex and area high schools that allows high school students to enroll in college courses for a reduced cost for the dual purpose of jump-starting their college degree and save money. Students also have the option to participate in the Mass Transfer Program, which gives them the opportunity to transfer NECC credits seamlessly, into a Massachusetts state college or university. Hogan, who has a 3.4 GPA, will transfer under Mass Transfer.

“This was a life changing opportunity,” she said. “I would definitely recommend (Early College) for high school students who want to get ahead on their education.”

Haverhill High School students who participated in NECC’s Early College pose for a group photo.

Petros Filiogiannis, also a senior at HHS, leaves the Early College program with 21 credits.  He is headed to  UMass Amherst to study computer science. He says Early College has prepared him for college life and helped him develop his time management skills.

Dr. Noemi Custodia Lora, vice president Lawrence campus and community relations, welcomed the students and their families, informing them that their participation in the Early College Program saved time for the students and saved money for the parents. The program, she said, was introduced in 2012 and has grown more popular every year since with nearly 2500 credits earned by Haverhill High School students alone representing almost $2 million in savings at a state school and $4 million at a private college.

NECC President Dr. Lane Glenn told the crowd that since Northern Essex opened its doors at the former Greenleaf School in Bradford in 1961, more than 40,000 have graduated from the two-year college.

“We take our mission to the community pretty seriously,” he said. “Now more than ever, Massachusetts needs college graduates.”

He acknowledged that not everyone has a clear direction. “That’s OK. We are here for you.” Glenn noted that representatives of Cambridge College, Northern Vermont College, and Regis College were present to discuss their bachelor completion programs with interested students and parents

Haverhill High School Assistant Principal Anthony Curet told the students that the partnership between

HHS student speaker Adriano Perez congratulates his fellow Early College students.

HHS and Northern Essex began seven years earlier with just nine students. Since then, that number has tripled.

“All of Hillie Nation is proud,” he said. “We applaud you…you are a constant reminder to each of us as to why we chose to go down the path of education.”

Saying he was truly honored to present the students their certificates of achievement, Whitter Vo-tech Principal Chris Laganas, quoted author Paul Gibbons, and encouraged the students to …”Be the author, not the reader, of your own life.”

HHS student speaker Adriano Perez reflected on the late nights of studying and the long lectures he and his classmates sat through. “We are now creatures of change…be proud…we are now surrounded by future doctors, scientists, and engineers…”

The evening ended with the students being presented with Early College certificates of completion. In addition, each was given a gift bag holding a new Northern Essex Community College sweatshirt.

Lawrence High School will hold its Early College recognition ceremony on Tuesday, May 22, and Amesbury High School’s Early College Recognition Ceremony will be held Thursday, May 24.

For additional information on the Early College Program, contact Custodia-Lora at


Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School Students

Angel Alicea, Rachel Bevelaqua, William Carpenter, Justin Case, Ian Chamberlain, Ryan Garrett, Dylan Gaumont, Taylor Gerry, Victoria Gladstone,  Elizabeth Jarmolowicz, Christopher Leeper, Bryce Marshall, Yuris Martinez, Julia Matos, Matthew McCarthy, Angela Messina, Rachael Pellitier,  James Sandborn, Stacy Velazquez, Bianca Villers, Nate Bacon, Sarah Bussey, Philip Colladay, Jacob D’Aoust, Joseph Dakin Jr., Malina Dim, Giana Disaronno, Cassandra Donovan, Melissa Elm, David Foy, Nicholas Hardy, Tyler Hrubes, Briana Jackson, Cameron LaFrance, EmilyLaBlanc, Matthew Papageorgiou, Troy Pender, Jacob Pimentel, Natasha Richard, Sean Runge, and Iyana White.

Haverhill High School Students:

Emily  Benson, Megan Carroll, Emily Delaney, Spencer Dellea, Nicholas Fabrizio, Petros Filiogiannis, Joseph Giampa, Liliana Hetherman, Alexandria Hogan, McKenna Jennings, Connor Judge,

Andrea Lopez, Victoria Martin, Emily Nadeau, Adriano Perez, Alexander Reid, Xenia Sanchez, Kevin Shaw, MaryRose Steed, Gretchen Stemmler, Hayley Sullivan, Andrew Williams, Isabella Yepes, Kimberly Zuber, Bennett Hurlin, Anthony LoCascio, Omairy Martinez.