PHS Graduates You Always Have a Home Under The Dome

PHS Graduates You Always Have a Home Under The Dome

“Remember, you always have a home under the dome,” Principal Maggie Harrington-Esko warmly reminded the graduating class of Pittsfield High School. This sentiment resonated deeply with the students, encapsulating the essence of their journey through the storied halls of PHS.

Class speakers Brooke Tripicco and Frankielys Payano De La Cruz shared their personal experiences of finding a home within the ivy-clad walls of PHS. De La Cruz recalled the welcoming words, “Welcome to our home under the dome,” which set the tone for their high school journey. Despite the initial adjustment to a rapidly changing world, the four years spent at PHS were unforgettable. “It’s been our home, the place where we’ve matured and thrived,” she said, reflecting on the memories and lessons that have shaped them.

De La Cruz, an AP scholar, expressed gratitude to parents, families, friends, and those who supported them along the way. She emphasized the confidence they now carry, knowing they will always have a place under the dome. Tripicco, who initially hesitated to attend PHS, shared how the school’s spirit and opportunities quickly changed her mind. “This school really feels like a school,” she remembered telling her parents, drawn in by the long hallways, tiny lockers, and elaborate murals. Above all, it was the enduring spirit of the people that made PHS feel like home.

Tripicco highlighted the unique bond shared by the students, even if they weren’t all best friends. “We share this journey in self-discovery,” she said, noting that the lessons learned at PHS extend beyond academics. The freedom to explore various interests, from academics to sports and art, was a testament to PHS’s impact. “Nobody can be reduced to one singular label,” she said, celebrating the school’s encouragement of individuality.

De La Cruz, who moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic at age 9, delivered her speech in both English and Spanish, honoring Hispanic families and students. Speaker Abigail Malumphy also recognized the collective triumph of the class of 2024, emphasizing the privilege of education. “Education is not just a tool but a key to success in any aspect of life,” she asserted, urging her peers to use their education to implement positive change.

Malumphy reminded her classmates of the value of their free education, a privilege not afforded to many around the world. “Education is one of the most powerful tools any one person may have,” she said, encouraging them to use their knowledge to make education a right for all. She concluded by highlighting the personal growth signified by their diplomas and the unity fostered at PHS.

Principal Harrington-Esko reflected on the journey of defining what a portrait of a graduate looks like, emphasizing the importance of hope and the power of education. The vision for students included being responsible, prepared, communicative, global citizens, critical thinkers, and lifelong learners. “The portrait of a Berkshire County graduate is you,” she said, expressing pride in the class of 2024.

The ceremony also honored Gabrielle Corbett, who passed away in 2016 and would have been a 2024 graduate. Graduate Jada Siv remembered Gabby as a ray of sunshine, whose presence is still felt by her classmates. The ceremony included performances from the PHS band, chorus, and orchestra, with Dea Courtney Wood-Crooks singing the national anthem and Hailey Rumlow reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

As the graduates turned their tassels and tossed their caps, they carried with them the memories, lessons, and spirit of PHS. The dome, a symbol of their high school journey, will always be a place they can call home.

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