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Drury High Names Top Students for 2020

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Francisco Alicandri and Holly Boudreau are the valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the Drury High School class of 2020. 
Alicandri, son of Linh Brown of North Adams, the boys vice president of his class, a member of Student Council, and the student representative to the North Adams School Committee. He also is a student ambassador, a volunteer at Berkshire Food Project and the founder and president of Drury's math club.
He has taken 11 Advanced Placement courses as well as dual enrollment courses at both Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Williams  College and has been inducted into both the Nu Sigma and Pro Merito honor societies. He was awarded the Rochester Institute of Technology medal as a junior.
He will be attending the Sophie Davis Biomedical Education Program (a bachelor of science and medical program) at City University of New York, where he will major in pre-med. 
Boudreau, daughter of Don and Laurie Boudreau of Clarksburg, has president of the classof 2020 in both her junior and senior year. She has been active in Student Council, the student ambassador program and prom committee. She also participated in the Haiti Plunge, cross-cultural educational program, for two years and has volunteered a great deal in her community. She is also a vital member of
Drury concert and marching band and has starred in many Drury Stage Company productions.
She received the Williams College Book Award during her junior year, was inducted into the Nu Sigma and Pro Merito honor societies, and received the Rotary Youth Leadership Award.
Boudreau has been accepted to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, where she will attend school directly after basic training.
Francisco Alicandri's valedictory
Greetings to North Adams Public school chairman Mayor Tom Bernard; Superintendent Dr. Barbara Malkas; dearest Principal Mr. Callahan; School Counselors; other administrators; faculty; families, friends, and classmates; I wish that you and your loved ones are well and safe.
I am honored and blessed to be able to speak to you as Valedictorian to represent Drury's class of 2020.
Just like you, and the rest of the other seniors in this country, I could never forecast that our graduation ceremony would be like this. And, just like most of us at Drury, I never would have foreseen that March 12th would have been our last day to see each other on Drury grounds.
In this time of Covid-19, everything seems so uncertain. We are forced to live and love in creative ways. Shaking hands and hugging are dangerous weapons, but distancing is an act of kindness and love. In this challenging time, our school district was able to create different modes of honoring our class' achievements. We, the class of 2020, highly appreciate everyone who is involved to make this graduation possible.
To the class of 2020: Every graduation class might have something that makes them special, but none of them were or will be as special as we will be today.
We are the first that have experienced a stark transition to a virtual world. 
We are the first to have an unusual graduation ceremony and celebration. 
We are the first to enter the workforce or college with a degree of uncertainty in our routines. 
And we are the first to face a deadly challenge that is shaking the globe. 
These unusual circumstances grants us the opportunity to learn, to innovate, and to invent all at an unprecedented rate. That is what makes us, the class of 2020, special.
My fellow classmates, I am speaking to you not only as a classmate but also as a friend. Do not let Covid-19 make you feel that your hard work, your achievements will go unnoticed. Evidently speaking, just the fact that we are here shows that our accomplishments have been especially recognized. And regardless of what type of graduation ceremony we have, that will not erase all that we have accomplished. 
No matter where we go, don't forget the three Rs that Drury has built in us: Respect, Responsibility, and Resilience. 
No matter where we are and what we do, if we do it with RESPECT for ourselves and for others we will build our success on trust and wellbeing.
RESPONSIBILITY helps us avoid a lot of chaos and gain respect from the others
RESILIENCE is an incredible inner strength to help overcome difficulty, to think positively, and to  tackle problems without fear.
My dear classmates let's put Drury's three Rs together and combine it with our passion to adapt and overcome.
Before we go away, let's take this moment to acknowledge the achievements of our school in our senior year.
Boys basketball team for winning Western Mass. 
Drury cheerleaders for winning first place in their Western Mass competition.
Drury's marching band, showing their talents at national level by being selected to represent the State of Massachusetts to march at Washington D.C. on the July 4th parade. 
Two college-level courses were added to our curriculum, and right now Drury with 13  AP classes, is one of the schools in the area offering the most AP classes to its students. 
Drury is a school full of opportunities. Drury has the tools to help students to become highly competitive and admitted into great and selective schools throughout the country, and this class is the perfect example of that. 
As a student representative for the North Adams Public school district, I have had the opportunity to work closely with the school district committee, I see the committee's great devotion to creating new approaches and programs that bring out the best to its students.
I personally believe that with such devotion from the committee and Drury's staff,  Drury will continue to have many more talented and strong students after us. Our class is setting a good example for this.
We couldn't reach this milestone without the support from many others.
I would like to thank Principal Callahan for your dedication, your support, and your fairness not only to our class but to every single student in this school.
Thank you to the chairman, the school committee, the superintendent, the school counselors, the teachers, and coaches for your endless effort and your devotion to our learning.
Thank you custudions and our lunch team for your excellent service. 
A personal thank you Mr. Caproni for helping me achieve my piano goal to earn an international piano certificate, from the Royal Schools of Music. 
Thank you to my fellow classmates for being wonderful and supportive to me, and to each other through the years. Together, our Blue Devil pride and spirit are incredible.
Our class has three students that will be going to the military, so I would like to shoutout Issiah Martin, Holly Boudreau, and Danny Cartmill. Your bravery to serve is very admirable.
I would like to thank the Berkshire Food Project for giving me the opportunity to fulfill my passion of serving humanity for the past five years.
Thank you Kim McMann, the director of Berkshire Food Project, Darlene Ellis, and the other volunteers for your endless effort to offer six meals per week to feed the hungry during this pandemic. 
Thanks to my beautiful sister Vincienza, who was also Drury's valedictorian last year. You are the perfect example of Respect, Responsibility and Resilience.
Lastly, but very importantly, thank you to my parents, especially my mother. Thank you mom for teaching me that, kindness, is something that the deaf can hear and the blind can see. Mom, you have done an incredible job as a parent.
Before ending my speech, I would like to leave my fellow classmates with my most important thoughts today. 
Do not let this pandemic interfere with your future goal and your aspirations. Do not be upset over our losses of prom and a traditional ceremony. Graduation is not just about that. It's about memories we already have, the educational goals we have accomplished, and the experiences we have already gained. These are the things that make this worth celebrating.
Once again, congratulations to the class Of 2020, and good luck to your future endeavors. 

Holly Boudreau's salutatory

Good evening class of 2020, staff, family and friends. As we come together today, we are all aware that the circumstances are not exactly what we had in mind. Most of us knew that our years of high school wouldn't quite live up to the expectations that "High School Musical" created for us, but I don't think any of us expected it to look quite like this. 

Had we known on that Thursday afternoon that it would be the last time we walked the halls as students, the last time we said goodbye to our favorite teachers, the last time we messed around with our beloved underclassmen, I'm sure it would have looked a lot less like us leaving for a three day getaway. Take that as a lesson to never take those little things for granted. 
Regardless, before the end of the year, as most senior classes have done in the past, we designed our very own senior T-shirts. Out of all of the great and creative designs submitted, we coincidentally chose to stamp the words, "Time To Make History”, on the back of our shirts, however I am sure that we had many more things in mind than going down in history as the class who missed out on the last half of their senior year. 
Our class is full of students with different interests, strengths and passions that go hand in hand with being stronger together.  Class of 2020, I want to be the one to assure you that you will not only be remembered as the class who graduated in the midst of a global pandemic, but as the class that upheld every aspect of what Drury is. 
This is the class full of dedicated student ambassadors who never backed down from the challenge of welcoming new students to our school from day one, to day 180. The class full of cheerleaders who brought the team to win the Western Mass title four times over the past years. The class that loved to tease Mr. Barboratta about his shoes that somehow always matched his shirt and tie, or found every opportunity to have a little chat with Mrs. Meyers about taking us off double-secret probation. The class full of some of the most talented singers, performers and musicians that lit up every stage they stepped foot on, and the students that worked their tails off to bring the show to life behind the scenes, of course causing a little trouble in the process. 
No one could see us right? The class full of Student Council members that put on spirit weeks that kept the Drury Pride roaring through the halls, while also taking time out of their day to better the lives of those who needed some extra help. The class that would do anything to sneak their way into the CCC, Mrs. Hamilton's office or Mr. Moore's office to hide away from the outside world and enjoy our time together. The class that brought our boys basketball team to win Western Mass for the second year in a row, and as the fans who did everything to be there to support. The class that came together to sign the best rock that Drury has ever seen, and the class full of leaders who took things into their own hands and brought back the famous Drury lip dub after three years without anyone stepping up to the plate to take charge. Truly, a class full of so many role models for those in the grades below us. 
Now, just because we officially end our time here in the Devil's Den after tonight does not mean they stop watching, stop cheering, stop hoping the best for all of us. We all know that the Drury faculty has done everything to prepare us for what is to come, and in reality, you are prepared. With the ups and downs we have found our way through, you have shown that you have what it takes to become whatever it is you want. 
To the athletes, use the adrenaline you felt on the court or the field to push through any obstacle and propel you into a happy and successful life. To the writers, continue to let the words flow from pen to paper and write yourself a path into your dream future. To the actors and actresses, take pieces from every character you have had the pleasure of portraying and when in a hard time, ask yourself, "What would they do?"
To the musicians, continue to hear and explore the music that you love, and use it to pull you through any hard times you are bound to face. To the artists, use your creativity to paint your way through the highs and lows. To the leaders, choose to use your power for good, and it will always return the favor in one way or another. To those who love to take on new adventures, continue to find new roads to travel down, and never turn back. To the scholars, use your love of learning to continue to discover what the rest of the world has to offer.
And to the class of 2020, you have everything you need to choose the path to happiness, and more importantly, you have each other. Never forget where you came from and congratulations. Best of luck to you all!  

Tags: graduation 2020,   val & sal,   

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North Adams City, School Officials Elect Daunis to School Committee

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — City and school officials on Thursday unanimously elected Emily Daunis to fill a vacant seat on the School Committee. 
Daunis, who ran unsuccessfully last year, was one of eight candidates who expressed interest in the vacancy.  
"I know how fortunate we are to have so many exceptional candidates and unfortunately we're only able to select one," said School Committee Vice Chairwoman Heather Boulger. "And I am putting forward the name of Emily Daunis, who's active already within the school system and is kind of catalyst in already making school policy change, and also happens to be the first runner up from the election from last year."
Boulger's nomination was seconded by City Councilor Jason LaForest. 
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