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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Drury Graduates 128 Seniors

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Saturday, June 04, 2005

Friendship was a focus of the Drury 2005 graduation ceremony.
View Slide Show
North Adams – The Drury High School Class of 2005 motto seemed to say it all:“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know.”

The quote, attributed to Dr. Suess, hung above the high school gymnasium stage and provided a backdrop as city Mayor John Barrett III presented diplomas to the 128 members of the senior class during the June 3 ceremony.

Praise and Promise

Several students had no doubt about their new direction. Daniel J. Benoit of North Adams said that he has already completed U.S. Army National Guard boot camp training and is headed for a National Guard advanced individual training program.

“It’s what I want to do,” Benoit said.

Jonathan S. King of North Adams said he plans to develop his ability to empathize into a career. King plans to attend the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts this fall and eventually earn a Ph.D in psychology.

“People just naturally come to me,” he said. “I’ve always helped people out. I figure that this is where I’m supposed to go.”

High school Principal John Solari described the class as “one of the nicest we’ve ever had as a group.”

“This class gives inspiration,” he said. “They make you happy to be [at the school].”

The Class of 2005 were attending their first half-day as Drury freshmen when the events of Sept. 11, 2001 unfolded. Solari said that because he hadn’t had the chance to get to know the students prior to 9/11, he couldn’t speak to any affect the situation had on the class.

“But they are very aware, and a number of them are entering the military,” he said.

Words of Wisdom


Drury Salutatorian Kari Lyden-Fortier
Class President Jenna R. Taft delivered words of welcome sprinkled with wisdom.

“Do not let these be the best days of your lives,” she told her classmates. “I know you can all do great things.”

“May the future hold more sunshine than rain,” she said.

Salutatorian Kari A. Lyden-Fortier recalled her enrollment at Drury as a sophomore who transferred from the Hoosac Valley High School in Cheshire. As Lyden-Fortier found friends and fun at Drury, initial transfer student trepidations dissolved – but not before she’d earned the nickname “Hoosac,” she said, and explained that any classroom faux pas drew a consistent, good-natured student response: “It’s OK, you’re from Hoosac.”

“Next year, many of us will undergo some sort of change in our surroundings,” she said. “The advice I will give to you is to have a sense of humor and be able to laugh at yourself.”

Valedictorian Sarah E. Brooks spoke about the immeasurable value of friendship. Brooks quoted boxing legend Muhammad Ali: “Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain.”

Drury Valedictorian Sarah Brooks


But treasuring friendship far outweighs explaining it, Brooks said, as she described the friendships she found at Drury. Her friends laughed with her, cried with her, supported her, and taught her that a quest for perfection must be mixed with fun and laughter, she said.

“Though I may have disagreed with my friends, I will never regret the bonds I made, even if they don’t last,” Brooks said.

“Friends don’t judge you or make you change,” she continued. “I’m extremely grateful for the friends I’ve made over the years.”

Brooks urged her classmates to cherish their high school friendships.
“Never forget the friends that you made,” she said.

Final Farewell


Bryan Hill's cap was designed by his sister.
The graduating class offered their affection and a standing ovation to retiring Dean of Students David P. Wall, and many students paused to hug Wall after they accepted their diplomas.

The Class Ode was titled “Hallways,” with the lyrics written by senior Katharine Law and the music composed by sophomore Michael Blair. The final verse gave voice to the moment:

“So with knowledge to guide me
And strength in my heart
I boldly set into the sun
To announce my presence to the world
To show them what I have become
The footprints that trailed have taken the place
Of my body, my name, and my mind
But the hallways I’ve passed
And the people, they’ll last
In my heart ‘til the end of time.”

Gowns of glory


A multi-photograph Drury High School commencement slideshow is posted at www.iberkshires.com.

Susan Bush may be reached at 802-823-9367 or by e-mail at suebush123@adelphia.net.
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