The newly dedicated Dr. June Walker High School.
Marcie Natan, Hadassah's 25th National President, pulled aside the satin curtains that covered the name of the late Dr. June Walker, Hadassah's 23rd President, and officially dedicated the Dr. June Walker High School for Life Sciences and Agriculture at the Meir Shfeyah Youth Village.
"We can all feel June's presence here today and how proud she is of the fruition of her dream of an expanded school building and laboratories for the students." Meir Shfeyah Board Chair Eli Wagner recalled hosting June Walker for a Shabbat at his home, and how she made him pledge that the laboratories would be completed.
"It's fulfilling to be here today as these laboratories are named for a wonderful person," said Wagner. Teacher Lauren Stern Kedem prepared a memorial presentation showing highlights of Walker's life, to the music, "For Good" from Wicked, a much-loved song which was sung to Walker by her granddaughter Stacey Richmond at a celebratory National Hadassah dinner.
Walker, a respiratory therapist and professor of chemistry, believed in the value of top science education for all, and wanted to upgrade the science education at Hadassah's youth villages so that youngsters would integrate in Israel's high tech and biotech world.
Village Director Yoram Panias led the visitors on a tour of the new campus, where student were already using the laboratory as part of their state matriculation examinations."This is a proud day for Shfeyah," said Panias, "And we can't thank Hadassah enough."
The Meir Shfeyah Youth Village is home to more than 300 students, many of whom are immigrants and children from dysfunctional households. Because of its high educational standards, the school draws almost as many students from the nearby towns of Zichron Yaakov and Binyamina, as well, and creates a unique model of integration in education.
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