Media day at Kurn Hattin
BY JOEL SLUTSKY
Westminster – As the June graduation approaches for Kurn Hattin students, the anxiety level is on the rise. The eighth graders will be graduating on June 10 and many will be returning to their homes. The myriad of reasons why students came to the school, whether because of abuse, poverty, homelessness or a difficult home situation, is often heightened as the school season ends. But these graduates have been transformed by the school and are not the same people who first came here. These children are not just leaving any school but a school unlike anything they’ve seen before and in many cases that helped turn their lives around. “From now on I will only have one home; Kurn Hattin is my home,” said a graduate in a filmed presentation.
A media day presentation at Kurn Hattin highlighted the school’s ability to critically assist the students. The program included questions and answers with Executive Director Stephen Harrison, Principal Noah Noyes and other staff. Additionally, there were video programs, a wonderful musical performance, a tour of Kurn Hattin Homes and a lunch with staff and students where Harrison, Noyes Development Director Kim Fine and Music Director Lisa Bianconi answered questions. Ms. Bianconi said, “This is a wonderful place, they love to perform. The director, who plays and teaches all the instruments, concluded her statement saying, “Every kid is talented; you just got to find it.”
Harrison, who became executive director last year, was preparing to leave to see his own son graduate. During the question and answer period I asked him what surprised him since his tenure started and he answered, “The civility of the children and the assistance they give each other.” This sense of civility in evidence as I went to the auditorium for the performance when a student I have seen and talked with during my visits to the school turned around and said, “Hi Mr. Joel.”
In the school’s most recent bulletin James White, Class of 2016, is quoted as saying, ”I am thankful to Kurn Hattin because of three reasons: it gives me a chance to express who I am, I can go on trips to many different places and Kurn Hattin is helping me get on the right path in life.”