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The graduation finale was the traditional Silly String salute.

Wahconah Class of 2011 Graduates With Success, Spirit

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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The regional high school graduated 151 in the class of 2011. See more photos here.
DALTON, Mass. — The class of 2011 entered Wahconah Regional High School with a reputation that proceeded them but will leave with a legacy of success and friendship.

"We're a strong-willed, spirited class that has rarely taken no for an answer, and always been able to make things happen," said class valedictorian Elaina Pullano before friends, family and faculty gathered in the high school on Sunday afternoon. "Rumor has it that our middle school teachers had labeled us the class from hell. ...

"During our four years here, we've been able to bond together and reverse that early reputation."

Indeed, the class was all business and calm during the speakers, and lined up for diplomas, shaking hands with School Committee Chairman Richard Lacatell, retiring Superintendent James Stankiewicz, Assistant Superintendent Robert Putman and Principal James Conro.

Then they exploded in a delirium of Silly String.

The hard-charging class made up the core of extracurricular activities, finding success on and off the the field, said Pullano. "We've always been involved, always put ourselves out there and always been up to the challenge."

She was glad that all 151 classmates were graduating, noting that Michael Kovacs, who is suffering from a rare blood disorder, was with them. Students had rallied round their classmate this year. And she nodded to the past, speaking of her late grandmother, Catherine Haddad, who had been valedictorian of the former Dalton High School 71 years before.

"I know that she's listening to me today and is proud that I'm here in front of you," she said.

The world the class is entering has its terrors and its challenges, said Pullano, and it was time for them to build on the work of previous generations to make it a better place.

"We are well-equipped to tackle these and other challenges in life," she said. "On June 5, 2011, we sat in our gymnasium at Wahconah Regional High School and walked across the Indian head that Boog [Powell, athletic director] was so proud of to graduate from high school. That is a bond that we will always have."

Principal James Conro said he watched the class mature over the years. "What we saw was a unified class bound and determined they were going to walk out of here with their heads held high with a reputation for which they will always be proud and that's exactly what they did this year."

Class President Christopher McCann noted how so many had come together over the past four years, a diverse population that coalesced into the class of 2011.

"We've all made a definite impact on the community, the school and those who have guided us along the way," he said. "No matter where our feet take us, I know we will continue to change lives and learn from the people we meet along the way, never forgetting where we came from and the people who made this time here so amazing."

Wahconah was the thread that will keep their lives intertwined. Salutatorian Erin Caffrey urged her peers to remember the values instilled in them and to keep humility, kindness and courage in the forefront. "Who you are as a person supersedes who you know."

Conro, who describes graduations as the best and worst of times, told them the beginning of their life's path was right here.

"You will go, literally, in 151 different directions and many of them will never cross paths ... and you'll always have Wahconah, and it will always be your home."

The graduates:

Domonique Gabrielle Ackley, Erica Marie Alberti, Micheal Christopher Almeida, Lucas Lawrence Alpert, Olivia Marie Arsenault, Taner Michael Autenrieth, Sarah Elizabeth Baran, Rubecca Michelle Battaini, Alexander Winfield Scott Beauchesne, Cody David Belland, Michael Frank Benham, Erik Stewart Benscoter, Carolyn Rose Bohlman, Brittany Ann Bonyeau

Cameron William Boraski, Anthony Xavier Bruce, Jessica Windsor Budaj, Samantha Lynn Burgner, Claire Ann Burnham, Emily Forrest Burnham, Brian Shaun Burris, Naomi Lishon Bye, Timothy James Cachat,Erin Cathryn Caffrey, Ryan Thomas Camp, Alex David Carpenter, Paul Anthony Castrale

Justin Benjamin Chisum, Joshua Dallas Clemo, Sean Charles Clemons, Taylor Kristan Conrow, Taylor Robert Cooper, Anthony Michael Corbett, Elizabeth Ann Corley, Ruaidhri MacKevin Coveney, Hunter Benjamin Crine, Aliah Marie Curry, Kayla Marie Daehling, Wendie Valo Daineau, Joseph Thomas Dapson, Jennifer Nicole Darroch, John Steven Decker, Kevin Edward Desautelle

Amber Renee DeZess, Iran Emannuel Diaz, Samantha Lee DiMassimo, Bridget Rose Donovan, Matthew Edward Downs, Molly Catherine Doyle, Kelsie Le Dumase, Donald Clifford Eichorn, Griffin Thomas Ellsworth, Nickole Renea Erbin, Ariel Carmen Errington, Casey Lee Evangelisto

Brandon Michael Farrell, Meghan Lynn Farrell, Christian Teague Fernandes, Mackenzie David Fisher, Taylor Hawkes Fiske, Brandi Lee Fortier, Bethany Teresa Fusini, Lauren Elizabeth Galipeau, Nickolas James Gaudette, Ashley Nicole Goodwin, Kevin Scott Granger, Iliana Helene Hagenah, Nathan Victor Hall, Zachary Evan Hallock, Sara Marie Hamilton

Tylor Daniel Harrington, Tyler James Hastings, Jacqueline Elizabeth Hatt, Justin Joseph Hebert, Bonnie Rose Hiliadis, Jeffrey Robert Hiser, Lauryn Rose Huban, Andrea Lynn Jenkins, Jonathan Jay Jewell, Jeremy Jacob Jonson, Amber Lynne Kasala, Kyle John Kasala, Benjamin Perry Kaufman, Cassidy Marie Keator, Kyle William Kelson

John Truman Kight, Ruth Hannah Kirchner, Jason Alexander Klem, Jake Lawrence Kordana, Michael John Kovacs, Hailey Lynn Lareau, Brett Austin Lavigne, John Michael Lavinio, Brendon Patrick Lennon, Megan Ann Lussier, Noelle Rita Lussier, Stuart Andrew Mansdoerfer, Christopher Andrew Manzella, Skye Mason Basiliere Chelsea, Christopher Kenneth McCann

Katherine Frances Miller, Courtney Marie Montferret, Meghan Elizabeth Morine, Michael Gabriel Moro, Mary Regina Morrison, April Lynn Moyer, Dylan Anthony Munger, Victoria Pham Nguyen, Marion Ellen O'Brien, Ross Bernard Overbaugh, Rebekah Lynne Pare, Samantha Jean Parkington, Bryan Christopher Parrott, Dennis Patrick Pelletier

Stephen Michael Peltier, Joshua Charles Pollander, Kyle James Prue, Elaina Catherine Pullano, Stephanie Nicole Rice, Sabrina Karen-Marie Robillard, Peter LeRoy Ross, Domenique Augustine Sacco, Carlos Umnamde' Alejandro Sampson, Danielle Marie Sanders, Graham Heise Schick, Andrew Augustus Schmidt, Allison Victoria Schmitt, Zachary James Sevigny

Michelle Rose Shepard, Zachary Joseph Simeone, Madison Louise Smith, Kristen Nicole Soules, Kevin Charles Stengl, Daniel Victor Stone, Kayla Marie Trager, Nicole Ariel Truran, Devon Alexandra Unwin, Gary David VanBramer, Anna Marie Vescio, Elizabeth Jean Wagner, Alessandra Kathleen Walak, Abigail Rose Walto, Zachary Jason Washburn

Kenneth William Welch, Danielle Nicole Weslowski, Zackary Bryan Whitcomb, Ileana Ayn Whiteman, Sarah Nicole Whitestone, Cory Josiah Willey, Jennie Frances Wolf, Katherine Andrea Wood, Scott Ronald Wood, Carly Fitzgerald Zink, Sennin Zumdick-Esko

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Dalton CRA Hall Inducts First Class

By Stephen Sports
DALTON, Mass. -- In the mid-1980s, Title IX was on the books for more than 10 years, but girls and women’s sports were light years away from having an equal footing … in a lot of places.
Not so at Wahconah Regional High School.
“I can’t say there wasn’t struggle, but Dalton never allowed that,” former Wahconah girls soccer coach Nancy Barry said on Sunday afternoon. “We were given equal practice time. We were given equal banquets. We were given equal ceremonies.
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