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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

McCann Class of 2005 Rained On But Not Out

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Thursday, June 09, 2005

Congratulations to the Charles H. McCann Technical High School Class of 2005.
View Slide Show
North Adams – The June 8 Charles H. McCann Technical High School 2005 commencement could be described as déjà vu with a twist.
For the second consecutive year, senior class members and guests dodged raindrops before and after the outdoor ceremony but the Class of 2005 managed to get themselves graduated between two storms.

In 2004, a fierce thunderstorm forced a graduation postponement.

Nothing Can Stop Us Now


Don't rain on our parade!
The first rains fell at about 6:30 p.m., but did nothing to quench the exuberance of the graduating class. Students whooped, cheered, threw confetti and blew party horns from the moment they arrived at the school campus. As the skies cleared, chairs were dried and the ceremony started as planned at 7 p.m.. Family members and friends threw themselves into the celebratory spirit; as the 99-member class crossed the athletic field during the procession, applause and cheers could be heard all along Hodges Cross Road.

Expressions of Youth

Salutatorian Rachel L. Desautels of Readsboro, Vt. offered a moving tribute to the school. Desautels told classmates and guests that the campus was “my other home,” and friends and teachers became “a little family who helped me up when I fell, showed me the light when it was dark, and helped me grow into the person I am today.”

Prior to the ceremony, Desautels said she plans to attend the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. A student of the McCann electricity curriculum, Desautels said she believes women face tough scrutiny when seeking career opportunities in professions such as electrician and electrical engineering.

“I’m probably not going into electricity but it’s not completely out of the picture,” she said. “It’s not that I don’t like it, because I do, but it’s still hard for women in this field.”

Valedictorian Gabriel N. Oleson of Florida completed the information technology program and said he plans to attend MCLA to study physics and robotics.

“The programming aspect [of the college curriculum] is pretty

To my future boss: just kidding!
exciting,” he said.

Oleson offered advice to classmates during his speech.

“Always try your hardest at whatever task is laid out for you,” Oleson said. "Even if it seems like giving 110 percent isn’t getting you anywhere, trust me, eventually, someone will notice and you will be rewarded for the extra effort.”


Waiting for their moment
Oleson encouraged the graduates to “find one thing in life that you truly love, hold onto it with both hands and don’t let go.”
“Always set goals for yourself and when you reach a goal, set a higher goal,” he said. “If you reach for the sky, you can touch the stars.”


The graduating class remembered classmate Heather M. Torres, who died after being injured during a February car crash. A portion of the funds raised by the senior class for a class gift was donated to the Heather M. Torres Memorial Scholarship Fund. A posthumous diploma was accepted by Torres' sister Adrienne and Torres' grandmother.


Diplomas Claim Victory Over Deluge

Students were led across the rain-soaked field by high school freshman Toran T. Manning, who played the bagpipes. Northern Berkshire Vocational Regional School District Superintendent James J. Brosnan noted the talents of Manning.

“We’re glad that we have him for the next few years,” he said.

Brosnan and district school committee Chairman Daniel J. Maloney Jr. presented the diplomas as the skies again grew dark and threatening. Rumbles of thunder mingled with the thunder of applause, and fresh torrents began just moments after the ceremony concluded.

There's always time for a group hug.


A mad dash for shelter ensued but unlike last year, the diplomas were firmly in hand.

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