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Northeastern and Boston honor Kennedy in renaming event

Northeastern University, home of the public charter high school Health Careers Academy, welcomed Mayor Thomas. M. Menino, Victoria Reggie Kennedy and many other city leaders and guests to celebrate the renaming of the academy to the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, in honor of the late senator.

Mrs. Kennedy thanked Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun for his leadership role and praised the unique partnership between the university and the academy.

“I think it’s a real model for other cities to grab onto. This is just an outstanding partnership,” she said during her remarks.

Speaking to a crowd of 200 people, including Boston Public Schools superintendent Carol R. Johnson, President Aoun lauded Mayor Menino for putting forth the idea of honoring the senator by naming the school after him.

“This is a fitting tribute,” said Aoun. “We now have a heightened responsibility to accelerate the achievement of the students because the school will carry Senator Kennedy’s name forever.”

Mayor Menino echoed the president’s sentiments by saying that the school embodies “all that Kennedy cared so deeply about. I’m so proud that we can offer this educational opportunity to the students of Boston, and I know Ted would have been thrilled to see his name associated with this school in the city he loved so very much.”

Also announced during the ceremony was the creation of the Edward M. Kennedy Academy Foundation. The foundation will be a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization created to help advance the mission and programs of the school.

Founded in 1996 by health professionals, the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers: A Horace Mann Charter School, prepares Boston students for careers in health sciences and related fields.

The academy’s 200 students study in university classrooms, libraries and laboratories and are provided with academic support during their high school careers.

Since 2003, 100 percent of its students have passed the MCAS test, and in 2009, the school had the highest four-year graduation rate of all Boston public high schools. That same year, U.S. News & World Report awarded the school a bronze medal in its America’s Best High Schools rankings, which put the school in the top 10 percent of American high schools.

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