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NECC Basketball Players Tell Golden Hill Elementary School Students to Aim High

Submitted by on May 8, 2023 – 6:53 pm

Haverhill, MA (May 8, 2023) – Haverhill’s Golden Hill Elementary School students are tackling this week’s MCAS test with a little more spring in their steps, thanks to the Northern Essex Community College men’s basketball team. The team and coach, Darren Stratton, visited the school on Thursday, May 4, for a pre-test assembly. The players and coach shared some encouraging words for the third and fourth graders.

Coach Stratton shares words of wisdom with Golden Hill third and fourth graders.

Coach Darren Stratton stressed the importance of being committed to academics and doing well in school. At the same time, players shared how important academics are and where their college careers are taking them in the future.

“We could tell these kids looked up to us. Being positive role models will benefit these kids by helping shape how they will behave and even how they will perform in the classroom. So, us showing up is what these kids needed. We all wished them the best of luck on their MCAS testing,” said Business Transfer student Phillip Cunningham.

Phillip Cunningham is a former Golden Hill student

The visit was a homecoming for Cunningham. He went to Golden Hill Elementary and got to catch up with some of his former teachers while he was there last week.

“I spent the best years of my life there. Being able to come back to my elementary school ten years later was amazing. Being able to talk to the kids and to explain how I was in the same position as them not too long ago was a great experience,” he said.

The visit was organized by NECC Provost Paul Beaudin and Golden Hill principal Bruce Michitson, who is a NECC alum. “Golden Hill hopes to grow the relationship with NECC to help students see their possible future, in person, in the form of the many outstanding students from NECC,” shared Michitson.

The NECC Knights men’s basketball team just wrapped up a stellar season. They earned a 33-2 overall record while claiming Massachusetts Community College Athletic Conference, NJCAA Region 21, and NJCAA East District Championships. They capped it off with a fifth-place finish in the NCJAA National Tournament. Learn more about athletics at Northern Essex by visiting the webpage or contacting Director of Athletics Dan Blair.