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Sue Bush
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Hoosac Valley High School Class of 2007:"Always Have Courage"

By Susan Bush
07:55AM / Saturday, June 09, 2007

Hoosac Valley High School Salutatorian John Provost[Photo by Sue Bush]
View Slide Show
Cheshire - Hoosac Valley High School's Class of 2007 reached their June 8 graduation milestone too quickly, according to some proud grandmothers.

Graduate Marie Bury's grandmother, who chose to be identified as "Mrs. Bury," shared her memories of a younger granddaughter.

Hoosac Valley High School Valedictorian Andrea St. Cyr [Photo by Sue Bush]
"It seems like we were just bringing them to their dance recitals," Mrs. Bury said. "And now look, they are graduating."

"It's true," said Joan Jozefiak, whose granddaughter Adrienne Jozefiak was a member of the HVHS Class of 2007. "The time goes by so fast."

High School Principal Henry K. Duval, Adams-Cheshire School Committee Chairman John E. Duval, and Class Advisor Margaret Winn presented the 122-member class with their diplomas during last night's 37th school commencement ceremony.

For some graduates, the future can't unfurl quickly enough.

"I'm looking forward to having more responsibility and being an independent person, not just a person in class," said Rebecca Clemons. The 18-year-old Cheshire resident said she will attend the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Jazzmyn Tulloch, 18, of Savoy, said she plans to attend Westfield State College. She said she was less eager to let go of a Hurricane history.

"I'm kind of sad," she said. "I don't really want things to change."

Graduation decorations offered symbols of the event; there were signature-bearing hand-tracings and cut-out hearts adhered to walls and hung from foil streamers, and a traditional red-and-white balloon archway bobbed gently inside the school gymnasium.

There were bits of glitter and plastic eggs shared with the on-stage administrators, hand-held whirling fans, and cans of silly string.

And stifling humidity couldn't stop family and friends from cheering and loudly applauding the Hoosac Valley High School Class of 2007.

Ambitious Minds, Open Hearts

Class Speaker Samantha Gale led a walk down corridors past at HVHS. Gale recalled some freshmen year photographs of Senior Class President Laiken Rapisarda and her "Spirit Day" dyed red locks.

Except, as Gale recalled, Rapisarda's red hair was a hair coloring error and had nothing to do with school spirit.

"Sophomore year came with only one thing on our minds, driving," she said."We had to survive driver's ed. It seemed as if getting my license would never happen."

"Junior year was full of fun times, anxieties, and of course a sold out performance of 'Grease,'" she said."Most of us began to mature more as we started taking SATs and thinking about college. We also realized that in a year, we would be seniors. It would finally be our turn."

Gale recalled the transition from elementary to middle school, where most class members came together for the first time. Middle school and high school were viewed as huge changes and now another change is upon them, she said.

"Now most of us are getting ready to venture off to college, the workforce, and some, to defend our country, where we won't know where each person lives, how many times they broke their arm, or who they dated in the seventh grade. We have to adjust to change and it may be within the next four years or so that we make the change into who we really are."

Gale asked that the class be remembered not for their "mistakes and immaturities but for our ambitious minds and open hearts."

HVHS Senior Class President Laiken Rapisarda and Class of 2007 member Jesse Rufo [Photo by Sue Bush]

"The Class of 2007 is one of the brightest classes to ever pass through Hoosac Valley, not to mention the best MCAS scores ever at Hoosac," she said. "We have achieved so much and are destined to achieve more."

Never be Afraid Of Failure

Salutatorian John Provost acknowledged the contributions of teachers.

"One of the most important things a teacher can do is not teach math, or perform experiments in the lab but it is to inspire us to learn," he said.

Rebecca Clemons used a hand-held fan to try and ease the sticky humidity.[Photo by Sue Bush]
Athletic coaches are also vital to students, he said.

"The desire to succeed, perseverance,dedication and team work are all important aspects of life that have been demonstrated and taught to us by our coaches," he said.

Friends and parents were also influential over student lives, Provost said.

"Our families were always there to say 'you can do it,' no matter how small the chance of accomplishing the task actually was."
Provost offered students a quote from former English Prime Minister Winston Churchill: "Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts."

"I hope that everyone here tonight, ready to leave high school and go on to bigger and better things will remember to never be afraid of failures and to always have courage," Provost said.

The Power To Accomplish Anything

Valedictorian Andrea St. Cyr remembered "in elementary school, gym was everything."

"There was something so perfect about being able to have fun and play games amidst a world of spelling and multiplication tables," she said. "Although we had no idea how easy we had it back then, the right game in gym could literally transform your day.I know I walked into gym everyday hoping that I'd see those little rolling scooters come out and it would be 'medic day.'"

The "medic day game" was similar to dodgeball but the students who rode the scooters served as "medics" and would help students who were struck by a tossed ball, St. Cyr explained.

"Although it began way before medic, as children we were always taught to help others and in a way, be equally dependant on others for help when we needed it," she said."Throughout the last 18 years, we've all been dependant on those around us."

Hoosac Valley High School Class of 2007 Class Speaker Samantha Gale [Photo by Sue Bush]

The desire to be surrounded by those who deliver support may not be diminished by graduation but the need to stand on one's own now takes precedence, St. Cyr said.

"It is at this point, at our high school graduation, where we must allow ourselves to grow independent of those around us," she said. "I'm not standing here telling you to reject help or disrespect others, or to forget about those people who will love and support you through anything but rather, in order to truly live, we must realize that, as we take our final steps out of these four walls, we now hold within ourselves the power to accomplish anything."

St. Cyr quoted Williams Jennings Bryant: "Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved."

"I recognize that I would never have become the person I am today without you and yet now it is our time, as the Class of 2007, to take control of our own lives and aspirations," St. Cyr said. "So, 07, wherever you end up and whatever you do, always remember there are so many people who support and love you but in the end it is you and only you who can truly accomplish your dreams."

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at or 1-413-663-3384 ext. 29.
Your Comments
Post Comment
If you did not check out the HVHS graduation slideshow at the web site, DO IT!!!!! I thought the pictures were pretty awesome!
from: Sam J.on: 06-11 00:00:00-2007

best wishes, best of luck, best of everything to the HVHS Class of 2007! We love you all!
from: Hurricane Householdon: 06-09 00:00:00-2007

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