Mount Everett Regional School said farewell to 50 graduates during commencement exercises at Tanglewood on Saturday. More photos here.
LENOX, Mass. — Mount Everett Regional School's class of 2014 hasn't exactly had a normal education.
Rather, said Southern Berkshire Superintendent of Schools David Hastings, the 50 graduates will learn as they move into the real world, their time at Mount Everett has been out of the ordinary.
"Schools in this district are just magical," the superintendent told the class at graduation exercises at Tanglewood on Saturday morning. "Sometimes magic is like the wind. You can't really see it ... but you can feel its power."
Hastings, making an impromptu off the program address to the class, credited Principal Glenn Devoti for hiring teachers over the past 20 years who are on the same wavelength in exciting and inspiring students, and the students themselves for excelling over the past four years.
"You've set the bar pretty high for the classes behind you," Hastings said. "You know what it takes to get into the arena and excel."
And excel they have, as a plethora of awards and scholarships were presented to the graduates on the stage of the Koussevitzky Shed. Among them was valedictorian Danielle Goewey, whose name was called enough times that one wag shouted "you're going to need a wheelbarrow."
Goewey, however, wasn't so sure her GPA qualified her to give advice to her classmates.
"I didn't make my bed all four years of high school, my foot is constantly in my mouth and my jokes are certainly much too raunchy for this speech," she joked. "But I have learned a few things these past four years."
Goewey, who plans to attend the University of Massachusetts of Boston, was able to come up with 10 bits of advice her classmates could take, or leave, including making sure they do life's homework, enjoy some imaginary play with youngsters, and allow relationships to run their course.
"Don't sleep until 3 p.m. and don't stay up until 3 a.m.," she cautioned, and "karma is completely real: What you give out to the world you get back. Always give good energy, always send love."
She told her classmates to hold themselves to same standards they would others, to travel and meet new people, and to just relax.
"In order to find the value in others you have to find the value in yourself, believe in yourself, take care of yourself hold yourself in the highest regard ... Rome wasn't built in a day; you won't be either."
Salutatorian Andrew Krom, now attending his fifth graduation having been a member of the chorus, said he had some trouble coming up with a topic for his address despite his commencement experience.
He determined to use his time to say goodbye to his friends and teachers he'd leave behind when he went off to Bryant University. And to thank you his family for their support, admitting he would miss his mom come fall.
"We may move on to new states or countries, but I know that we'll still be close for years to come," Krom told his classmates. "I will remember the times I had here gladly and take everything I've learned here both academically and about life with me next year."
The Mount Everett Wind Ensemble spread a little magic with a rendition of "Gandalf," from the "Lord of the Rings," as requested by its senior members. Kyle Carson sang the national anthem with accompaniment from the ensemble and chorus sang "Already Home."
Awards were announced by Principal Glenn Devoti, graduation adviser Neal Barbieri, School Committee Chairman Carl Stewart, guidance counselor Katherine Gingras and Director of Curriculum Kerry Burke.
Class officers were President Erica Sullivan, Vice President Danielle Goewey, Secretary Natasha MacLeay, Treasurer Taylor Dorsey, and Gold Team Captains Brooke Morehouse and Jonathan Ovitt.
Devoti reminded the class how much the community had supported them and urged them to continue to be "strivers, givers and multitaskers."
"You did not take this for granted," he said. "We as adults feel you delivered, delivered on your promise and delivered on our investment."
The graduates, each presented with a jaunty yellow chrysanthemum, turned their tassels to indicate their completion of high school.
Goewey had one more tip for the classmates, taking the words from the Steve Miller Band.
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