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The graduates, masks at ready, drove up to the high school steps to receive their diplomas on Saturday.

Pandemic, Precipitation Do Not Stop Mount Greylock Graduation

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A global pandemic forced them to give up the usual high school graduation experience.
A mid-ceremony, rain threatened to interrupt the outdoor alternative created for the day.
But Mount Greylock Regional School's class of 2020 soldiered on and pulled off a memorable "drive through" graduation that went off without a hitch and slightly ahead of schedule as the school sent 84 newly minted grads riding off into the sunshine.
Most of the traditional graduation speeches were delivered in advance, virtually, and wrapped into a Zoom presentation that is available on the school's YouTube channel and Williamstown's community access television station, WilliNet.
But Class President Alexander William Morin delivered a greeting on Saturday morning as his classmates waited nearby in the parking lot to take their turns in the spotlight.
"Today marks the destination of a successful four-year journey for our class," Morin said. "I hope you all remember throughout life that your travel should be about the journey you're on and not the destination.
"I understand it has been difficult, especially in these trying times. We have been asked to forfeit so much in these past few months. Many will remember this as our defining moment in high school. Do not let this assumption hold true.
Morin told his classmates not to shy away from difficult decisions as embark on the next phases of their lives.
"Graduation marks more than one chapter and ending another," he said. "It marks the beginning of when you and you alone make decisions that affect the rest of your life. Some will be easy. Others will be challenging. Be bold and take on new challenges. You have all worked hard to get here."
After congratulating his fellow grads-to-be and leading the students and families in the Pledge of Allegiance, Morin stepped down from the podium and then stepped back up the front steps of the school to be the first recipient of a diploma.
The rest of his classmates followed, one by one driving — or being driven by a parent — to the front of the school. Each senior then climbed the front steps toward the main entrance of the school for a final time as a Mount Greylock student and received his or her diplomas.
Although some had to make a run for it when the skies open up, by the end of the ceremony, the sun was again shining for class officers Gabriella Alvarez and Anna Welch to make the day's final presentations — to class adviser Lynn Jordan and Principal Mary MacDonald, respectively.
"I'd like to take a moment to honor Mrs. MacDonald on what will be her last graduation as principal," Welch said. "We've had the honor of having you as our devoted principal for all of our six years at Mount Greylock. Your dedication and drive for excellence has been an inspiring model for every student who has been under your administrative wing.
"Everyone should hold themselves to the high standards that you do yourself."

Tags: graduation 2020,   MGRS,   

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Williamstown Planning Board to Look at Impact of Land Regulations on Equity

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Planning Board wants to make a concerted effort to assess potential bylaw changes with an eye toward increasing equity.
Picking up on a conversation that has dominated discussions in the town's Select Board in recent weeks, the Planning Board last Thursday began talking about how it can advance social justice through its work.
"I think this is really essential work for us to be doing," said Peter Beck, who participated in his first meeting since his election to the board in June. "Issues of racial equity are not tangential to planning and land use but deeply wrapped up in it."
Chair Stephanie Boyd raised the issue toward the end of a meeting dominated by discussion about bylaw amendments the board plans to bring to next month's annual town meeting.
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