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New Mission High School, Boston Community Leadership Academy share first pep rally in Hyde Park Education Complex

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  September 10, 2012 01:07 PM

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Jermaine Wiggins.jpg

(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)

Former New England Patriots tight end Jermaine Wiggins spoke at the pep rally as John Fish, chairman and CEO of Suffolk Construction Company, and Mayor Thomas M. Menino looked on.

About 800 students from New Mission High School and Boston Community Leadership Academy gathered Friday for the first pep rally inside the schools’ shared new home, the Hyde Park Education Complex.

The event was a star-studded affair intended to inspire students from both schools to achieve both athletic and academic success in the new school year, their first in the Hyde Park building.

Special guests included Mayor Thomas M. Menino; School Superintendent Carol R. Johnson; John Fish, chairman and CEO of Suffolk Construction Company; and former New England Patriots tight end Jermaine Wiggins, himself a product of Boston Public Schools.

Wiggins graduated from East Boston High School in 1993 and went on to play for the Super Bowl-winning Patriots of 2001. He told students that as a young man raised by a single mother who worked two jobs to make ends meet, he never saw himself going to college. But athletics enabled him to get an education, and he now considers his college degree the greatest accomplishment of his life.

He said these students, whether they excel in athletics, academics, or another arena, can achieve their dreams.

“You can make it, and you can be somebody,” Wiggins said. “It’s about getting an education.”

Menino encouraged students to try new things, such as trying out for a sports team, the debate team, or a challenging Advanced Placement class. He encouraged them to get to know not only their classmates but also students from the other school that shares the building.

“I tell you folks, some of the friendships you make in high school are lifelong friendships, so these days are very important,” Menino said. “These are the most important four years of your life.”

Beginning this school year, athletes from New Mission and the Leadership Academy will compete together through a joint football program with a new mascot, the Titans. Formerly, the Leadership Academy was located on Warren Street in Brighton and New Mission occupied a building on Alleghany Street in Roxbury.

The Hyde Park Education Complex sat empty last school year after two schools that formerly used the space were closed and a third was relocated. Johnson planned to relocate Boston Latin Academy to the Hyde Park building until an outcry by Latin Academy parents forced her to reconsider.

Email Jeremy C. Fox at jeremycfox@gmail.com.
Follow Jeremy C. Fox on Twitter: @jeremycfox.
Follow Hyde Park on Twitter: @YourHydePark.

Hyde Park pep rally.jpg

(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)

Students stood as Boston Community Leadership Academy student Matthew Alexis sang the National Anthem.

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