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."
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
Williamstown to Try Outdoor Dining on Spring Street Again Saturday
By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Despite the vagaries of Mother Nature and the voices of those who raised concerns about the plan, the town plans to temporarily close Spring Street to vehicles the next two Saturday evenings to allow outdoor dining.
The initiative to help downtown restaurants that do not otherwise have outdoor space to set up tables was first tried on June 27.
Although the weather did not entirely cooperate that night, people who did have a chance to take advantage of the opportunity reacted positively on social media.
Organizers also got positive reactions, according to Jane Patton, the chair of the town's Select Board and vice president of the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce.
Despite the vagaries of Mother Nature and the voices of those who raised concerns about the plan, the town plans to temporarily close Spring Street to vehicles the next two Saturday evenings to allow outdoor dining. click for more
People in Western Massachusetts, and the Berkshires in particular, frequently complain the region is being ignored by a state government headquartered at the other end of the commonwealth. click for more
If there was any consolation at all, it is that unlike years past, Brookner knows she will have an active and important role to play in the academic lives of those rising seventh-graders.
click for more