Eighty-five students from the first senior class of Constitution High School will graduate at the National Constitution Center on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 6:30 PM. The ceremony will include a keynote address by the First Lady of Pennsylvania, the Honorable Marjorie O. Rendell; remarks by Constitution High School Principal Dr. Thomas R. Davidson, Constitution High School President Todd Alexander Latimore-Handy, and National Constitution Center President and CEO David Eisner; and a performance by the Constitution High School Chorus.
Students that will be honored during the ceremony include class valedictorian Alfreda Davis from South Philadelphia and salutatorian Amy Taylor from Northeast Philadelphia, as well as students selected to receive “Awards of Excellence” for academic acheivement from Ballard Spahr Andrews and Ingersoll, LLP, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and for active citizenship from the National Constitution Center. Students from the graduating class will continue their education at Alvernia University, Delaware State University, Drexel University, Fashion Institute for Design Merchandising, Gettysburg College , Millersville University , Pace University , Pennsylvania State University, Slippery Rock University , Spelman University , Temple University , Virginia Union University, West Chester University , and Widener University , among others.
Constitution High School launched in September 2006 in an effort to promote civic education and active citizenship. The history and civics themed Philadelphia School District magnet school was created in partnership with the National Constitution Center and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, with additional support from Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP. It is the only Philadelphia School District high school with a Civics Education and American Studies theme.
“We are thrilled to have our Founding Class – the Class of 2010 – graduate at the National Constitution Center ,” said Constitution High School Principal Dr. Thomas R. Davidson. “The Constitution Center is our Founding Partner and, through that partnership, the education of our students has been so deeply enriched. The Constitution Center ‘s influence has been an integral aspect of our school program, the effects of which have spread around the nation and world.”
“As the first class to graduate from this trailblazing school centered on American history, these students are themselves making history,” said National Constitution Center President and CEO David Eisner. “We are proud to be a part of this unparalleled educational opportunity, and to inspire young minds with a deeper appreciation of the Constitution, its history, and its ongoing relevance, so that they can become active and engaged citizens.”
By engaging students with an appreciation for history and an understanding of the democratic principles embodied in the United States Constitution, this college preparatory high school is developing the next generation of engaged citizens and civic leaders in government, public policy, and law. Students can develop a practical understanding of the ideals of citizenship embodied in our nation’s founding documents to instill appreciation and respect for values such as liberty, equality, and justice.
The distinctive modes of student learning at Constitution High School include interdisciplinary studies, the use of primary historical documents, research writing, active civic engagement, problem solving (as it relates to societal issues), public presentations, and an exceptional role in school governance. Unique features for students include a yearly community service requirement; mentor relationships with Constitution Center staff; major historical field trips each year, including the opportunity to travel abroad; and utilization of the resources of the National Constitution Center, as well as other Philadelphia institutions, promoting student learning and engagement.
The National Constitution Center , located at 525 Arch St. on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the ideas and values it represents. The Center serves as a museum, an education center, and a forum for debate on constitutional issues. The museum dramatically tells the story of the Constitution from Revolutionary times to the present through more than 100 interactive, multimedia exhibits, film, photographs, text, sculpture and artifacts, and features a powerful, award-winning theatrical performance, “Freedom Rising.” The Center also houses the Annenberg Center for Education and Outreach, which serves as the hub for national constitutional education. For more information, call 215.409.6700 or visit www.constitutioncenter.org.