Mount Greylock Class of 2024 Shines

Mount Greylock Class of 2024 Shines

Mount Greylock Class of 2024 Shines

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Class of 2024 celebrated their graduation with a mix of humor, reflection, and heartfelt tributes. The ceremony, held in the high school gymnasium, saw 104 graduates toss their caps in the air, marking the end of an era and the beginning of new adventures.

Class speaker Judge Martin took the stage with a blend of apologies and pride. He acknowledged the chaotic nature of their class, describing their entry into the new school as “like a bull in a china shop.” The students, coming from various towns, brought a mix of personalities that led to some memorable, albeit disruptive, moments. They lost privileges, caused a burst pipe that flooded the school, and were sent home early just before the pandemic-induced remote learning began.

“On behalf of my class, we apologize for the mess,” Martin said. “But look at us now — we’ve grown, matured, and are no longer the middle schoolers everyone dreaded.”

Martin also expressed gratitude to Superintendent Jason McCandless, who is retiring at the end of the school year. He praised McCandless for his positive influence and support over the past four years, earning loud applause from the audience.

In a poignant moment, Martin remembered his best friend from Williamstown Elementary, Everett “Eve” Claffey, who passed away at age 10 from mitochondrial disease. He spoke of her resilience and the impact she had on their class, despite her physical limitations. “Eve was a ray of sunshine in my class but sadly had to go too soon,” he said, his voice catching with emotion.

Caleb Low, another class speaker, echoed Martin’s sentiments, highlighting Eve’s ability to connect with her classmates and teach them the values of compassion and empathy. “We will keep Eve close in our hearts forever,” he said.

Superintendent McCandless addressed the graduates with a message of self-worth and equality. He urged them to recognize their unique value while also understanding that no one is inherently better than anyone else. “No one is better than you. It’s true,” he said. “And it’s not hubris to say because it’s also true that you are not better than anybody else.”

Principal Jacob N. Shutz and Assistant Principal Samantha Rutz presented the awards, while Shutz, McCandless, and School Committee Chair Christina Conroy handed out the diplomas. Shutz praised the graduates for their resilience and adaptability, especially in the face of unprecedented challenges like the global pandemic.

“Graduates, you will face challenges that no generation has encountered before,” Shutz said. “But remember, setbacks are not failures, but opportunities for growth.”

Vincent Welch, selected to speak by the faculty, thanked everyone who helped the graduates reach this milestone. He emphasized the importance of showing up and supporting each other, which he believes was key to their success. “We all just showed up,” he said. “Each day, encouraging and supporting each one of us to pursue what we are good at and love.”

The ceremony also included special recognitions for staff members. Jeffrey Johnson presented an award to paraprofessional Thomas Sherman for his unwavering support and positivity. Kadi Rosier recognized paraprofessional Ann Martin for her guidance and ever-present smile. Math teacher Lucas Polidoro was named Teacher of the Year, an honor he had previously received in 2021.

Polidoro encouraged the graduates to use their education and experiences to make a positive impact on the world. “The world needs your expertise, your compassion, your tolerance, and your creativity now more than ever,” he said.

The Mount Greylock Class of 2024 has indeed left a lasting mark on their school. From their early days of chaos to their final moments of unity and achievement, they have shown remarkable growth and resilience. As they step into the next chapter of their lives, they carry with them the lessons learned and the memories made at Mount Greylock.

Congratulations to the Mount Greylock Class of 2024. Your journey has just begun, and the world awaits your brilliance.

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