The Bucks County Intermediate Unit (Bucks IU) was extremely proud to honor and celebrate the 45 graduates of their Class of 2022. This year’s graduating class includes special education students from 11 Bucks County School Districts, and the School Districts of Eastern Lancaster, Philadelphia, Spring-Ford, and Wyoming Valley. Family, guardians, and friends of the graduates, along with Bucks IU staff, gathered for the graduation ceremony on Monday evening, June 6, 2022 in the auditorium of William Tennent High School in Warminster, PA.
The evening began with a welcome by Dr. Lenny Greaney, Bucks IU Assistant to the Executive Director, followed by the first student of the evening to have a special role in the ceremony. Graduating senior Autumn Letzo, representing the Centennial School District, was honored with leading the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance. Dr. Mark Hoffman, Bucks IU Executive Director, then provided the opening remarks.
Always a highlight of the evening are the student keynote speakers. First to present was Jeremiah Jackson from the Spring-Ford School District. Jeremiah spoke about how the Bucks IU programs have helped him prepare for his future life out in the ‘real world’ by helping him to grow as a person. He stated, “I have learned how to make healthy meals, cope with my stresses, and be open to various job opportunities. With my new growth mindset, I feel confident heading into the future.”
The second student keynote speaker was Bradley Mundt, a student intern through Project SEARCH Bucks; a nine-month internship program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have a goal of achieving competitive employment. Bradley spoke about growing up with various disabilities, the struggles he faced, and how he never would have believed he could achieve what he has. Bradley’s internship began in IT and was so successful that it not only became his single focus but evolved into him being given an open-ended, paid internship position.
This year’s commencement addresses were jointly provided by Mr. Ronald Jackson, Vice-President of the Bucks IU Board of School Directors and parent of a Bucks IU student, and Mr. John D’Angelo, President of the Bucks IU Board of School Directors. Recognition of the graduates was led by Dr. Jen Hertwig, Bucks IU Program Director of School Age Programs, with graduation certificates distributed by Dr. Hoffman, Mr. Jackson, and Mr. D’Angelo. The evening ended with closing remarks by Sarah MacKenzie, Bucks IU Special Education Teacher, STEP.
Bucks IU Executive Director Dr. Mark Hoffman stated, “I speak for all Bucks IU staff when I say how proud we are of the effort, determination, and resilience of these amazing students. They have worked incredibly hard to reach this important milestone and to graduate. Congratulations to all our Bucks IU graduates with our best wishes for a wonderful future!”