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Needham seniors get gubernatorial pep talk

Posted by John C. Drake April 12, 2007 02:41 PM

NEEDHAM

Gov. Deval Patrick offered Needham High School students a pep talk this morning, accepting an invitation from school officials to lift the senior class's spirits after the loss of some classmates to suicide.

Students received a lesson in resiliency and perspective, said students who attended the assembly, which was closed to the public.

During the senior class's four years at the school, four teenagers from the town have died of suicide. In response, the community has conducted suicide prevention programs, and the school has reached out to neighboring Wellesley, where a student died of suicide last month.

"I talked to them about the importance of perspective," Patrick said in a brief interview with Globe West Thursday. "Any senior year is a whirlwind with college decisions and the exams and the prom coming up, and then they've had this profound loss as well, and they've been managing through that."

Kelly Reckert, an 18-year-old senior, said the governor told students "even though tragedies can happen, you can still bounce back."

-- John C. Drake and Adam Sell

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