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August 2, 2013

Pinkerton student finally earns diploma

Pinkerton student finally earns diploma

DERRY — Brandon Paquette conquered cancer.

Now he’s conquered geometry, too.

Weeks after Pinkerton Academy refused to let him walk at graduation with his fellow seniors because he had failed to pass geometry, Brandon this week got his diploma in the mail.

“It’s about time,” Brandon said he told himself when it arrived.

His mother was happy, too.

“Oh, my gosh, it was so exciting,” Kristine Paquette said, “the best feeling.”

The diploma came in a red, leatherette-style case.

“Right now, it’s on the counter,” his mother said.

Brandon completed the course early, successfully passing computer tests measuring his knowledge of geometry, she said.

“I finished everything,” Brandon said.

He wasn’t sure of his final grade, but said he thought it was a B-plus or A-minus.

Brandon, 18, has spent this summer working with his mother at their new home in Boscawen, where they are converting a motel into a sober house for young men trying to beat addictions.

His mother said Brandon is handling Web design and other information technology projects for the future Homestead Inn.

“I’m the only one around who can do it,” he said.

His mother is still a nursing supervisor with Hampstead Hospital.

In June, Brandon said he was very disappointed and thought it unfair Pinkerton wouldn’t let him walk at graduation with his classmates.

Pinkerton headmaster Mary Anderson said at the time the decision came down to what graduation represents.

“Graduation is meaningful; it recognizes students who have met the requirements for a high school diploma,” Anderson said.

Brandon wasn’t expecting a diploma that night in June. He knew he would have to earn that later. He just wanted the experience of being with his pals.

“He was let down, not being with his friends,” his mother said.

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