Drury High School graduated 92 in the class of 2014 on Thursday night. More photos to come.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Drury High School graduated the class of 2014 Thursday night with reflections and laughter.
The 92 graduates packed into the Drury gymnasium to hear speeches and accolades. This class marked the first graduation of the eighth grade class that joined Drury five years ago after the closing of Conte Middle School.
Salutatorian Alison Tassone reflected on her time at Drury and used a zombie apocalypse as her chosen metaphor to express her experiences.
She asked the class of 2014 if high school truly prepared them for a possible attack of the living dead. She said many of the classes they had taken at Drury prepared them for any of the challenges to come — zombies or not.
"So how has high school really prepared us for the apocalypse, or rather, the post high school world?" Tassone said "... Physically those who spent their high school years roaming the halls dodging Mr. Bryce and Mr. Barbarotta will escape zombie detection effortlessly … but let’s face it, the marching band is doomed; a large group, moving slowly, making a lot of noise... Sorry, Mr. Caproni, if you wanted a fighting chance you should have joined the jazz band; at least they know how to improvise.”
She concluded that whether her fellow classmates have to face the walking dead or go to college, knowledge will be their greatest tool.
"Graduating high school and battling the undead both seem to be very daunting tasks," she said. "So as you depart and move forward with your new life, take whatever you think you will need; of all of your supplies and tools, just remember, knowledge will be the greatest weapon."
Instead of zombies, valedictorian Morgan Michaels chose to perform an original poem for her address. She spoke about how united the class of 2014 is:
"I choose to remember a united class of 92
Not just a me and a you
But an us."
An us that supports all teams through all losses
An us made of collaborators and creators and caretakers, not just bosses.”
Michaels then told the class of 2014 to stay true to themselves and to not to be afraid to experience life.
"So take the plunge / Soak up knowledge like a sponge / Measure experiences and people by feeling, not sight,” she said. "Don't just do what makes sense, do what feels right / And make one last wish on that four-leafed clover,
"Because, Class of 2014, this speech is for you:
one thousand times over."
Principal Amy Meehan compared the graduates to the characters in the "Winnie the Pooh" story collection, and those entering a new, unknown part of their life to Piglet.
"Navigating your way through Drury and preparing to leave can feel overwhelming, much like Piglet felt living in the forest," Meehan said. "It's easy to feel small, when the world around you seems so big; having a dependable organized friend like Rabbit hopefully put you at ease when you felt scared like Piglet or needed help with all that important stuff you never got around to because you were busy thinking deeply like Pooh."
Meehan wished all of the graduates the best of luck and reminded them to follow their dreams.
"Class of 2014 live each day to its fullest jar of honey and remember to be brave," she said. "Brave enough to become the person you are destined to be."
Mayor Richard Alcombright addressed the class before presenting the diplomas and wished them luck and happiness.
"I wish you all great success and happiness no matter what path you choose," Alcombright said.
The final speaker of the night was graduate Evan Francis Gardzina, who thanked his classmates for helping him through high school.
"You all helped me so much in my life … and all of you are the reason I am becoming a Marine," Gardzina said. "I want to protect all of you however I can; you are spectacular people and I am forever grateful that you came into my life."
Gardzina thanked his teachers and administrators and said that his experience at Drury "helped him grow.”
"A lot of us are the first graduating eighth grade class of Drury; this school molded us all into men and women to be proud of," he said. "Whatever I do in this life, whatever path I fall on, to I have all of you to fight for so I will never fail."