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McCann Tech graduates pop their party poppers ahead of schedule at Wednesday's rainy graduation exercises.
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McCann Tech Grads Urged to Seize the Moment

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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Some families stopped for a quick photo as the assembly fled the light rain that started as soon as the graduation. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School graduated 110 seniors on Wednesday night on the football field with the dramatic background of the mountains and a sea of umbrellas before them.
The gray skies let loose a steady rain that had the graduates eager to move things along — they applauded Superintendent James Brosnan for clipping his address and let go their party poppers a whole speech too early. 
But Principal Justin Kratz said he understood what a tough year it had been.
"Don't get me wrong, the class of 2020 had it rough as well. But the class is 2021, and we're going to use COVID terms, they're the long haulers," he said. "They had a lot of stuff thrown at them."
Salutatorian Ciarra Kruzel said the four years seemed like a blur now but one event in her first CAD classes stood out when teacher Joshua Meczywor made a comment. 
"It was something along the lines of the smartest person is the one who admits they know nothing, which I later found out with something Socrates said," she said. "From then on, I took that mindset and ran with it. And from this way of thinking, I grew. So not only did I learn lessons, academic lessons, you may or may not use in the future, but it also taught us about personal growth. We were taught how to change and become a better person."
She thanked all the teachers who helped them over the years and through the pandemic, even if they probably were upset with them. 
"We greatly appreciate everything you've done to get us into school, even though it was just for two weeks, and any extra trouble or if you went through to educate us through the pandemic," Kruzel said.
Valedictorian Stephen Perrault asked what they wanted to achieve in life — but not as the start of a "long, drawn out" speech about how you can do anything if you try harder. But rather, he said, to consider what what success really meant to them.
"I had been reaching for the stars but doing so had made me less happy than before," he said. "Then one day when I was talking about the future with my dad, he told me do what makes you happy, enjoy life ... perhaps instead of expecting myself to change the world I should just do whatever I'm capable of doing in order to make a life for myself."
Perrault said he didn't want his classmates not too aim high. Instead, he encouraged them to take that motivation and funnel it in a direction that will be fulfilling.
"Aiming for what we really want to do so we're not spending our days and months and years in a job we hate so we can consider ourselves successful or getter a bigger paycheck," he said. "The point of life isn't to obtain wealth but rather to find true happiness."
Before handing out diplomas with Brosnan, School Committee Chairman Gary Rivers took the "dreaded word" COVID and found something positive in it. Taking the letters he found courage, optimism, viable, inspiration and dream — as in dream big.
Courage is the foundation to success, he said, and this pandemic provided an opportunity for students to endure, develop skills and maybe even find inspiration in new career paths.
"Dream big. If the world is going to get better, it's going to be up to you," he told the graduates. "With everything feeling like it's up for grabs, this is your time to seize the initiative. 
"No one can tell you to wait your turn ... no one can tell you that this is how it's always been done. More than ever, this is your moment."
Awards and scholarships were presented to graduates on Wednesday. See the list of recipients here.
Advanced Manufacturing
Connor A. Cirullo
Alahna Chante David
Kyle Matthew DuPont
Connor Michael Griswold
Damian Christian Kivlehan
Gabrielle Montgomery
Dillan Wade Morse
Stephen Michael Perreault
James David Pinckney
Grace Haile Towler
Carson Wayne Boyce
Christopher Joseph Bunt
Alexander Nicholas Kaiser
Ruth LeSage
A.J. McClary
Aspen Xander Trala
Business Technology
Ashlyn Nicole Belisle
Elizabeth Lily Biagini
Sarah Ann Fortini
Lily Jean Gifford-Blasi
MacKenzie Michelle Kupiec
Julianna Patricia Mazzeo
Zoe Jacqueline Oakes
Molly Rose Patenaude
Sawyer Colquhoun Smith
Alaina Renee Vigiard
Keaton Alexander West
Matthew Christopher Bailey
Skylar Jade Baker
Kaleigh Lynn Elser
Emilia Rose Howland
Alyse Judith Koloc
Adam Tyler Krutiak
Nicholas Christian LaForest
Alivia Rae Lesure
Jay Alexander Morris
Austin Skyler-Maclean Peck
Cole Thomas Poplaski
Dylan Michael St. Hilaire
Hannah Judith Stack
Nicholas Michael Thayer
Computer Assisted Design 
Todd William Belleau
Allie Ann Burdick
Jordan Michael Callahan
NIckolas Anthony Carpenter
Molly Ann Champney
Justin Fay Denette
Emma Katherine Desormeaux
Colby David Ghidotti
Daniel James Gigliotti
Ciarra Joyce Kruzel
Chase Victor Lancia
Autumn Nichole Matys
Brooke Alana O'Neil
Kolby Andrew Sawyer
Sean Nicholas Sumner
Luke Matthew Thomas
Ethan Ray Walden
Daniel James Williams
Culinary Arts
Zebulun Scott Blanchard
Jordan Elizabeth McDonald
Madison Lynn McLear
Maryjane Michaela Millard 
Darien Christopher Patton
Bryson James Rose
Gavin Reed Tetreault
Blake Alexander Todd
Austin James Bleu
Kevin Armond-James Gillette
Keegan George Haggerty
Huntter John Hathaway
Ezra Timothy Holland
Ethyn Perry Lasher
Martha Marie Leab
Devin Charles Mickle
Austin Matthew Miner
Landon Reid Murach
Joshua David Rand
Luke James Roberts
Brenden David Scott
Ethan Jared Earl Sweet
Information Technology
Colby John Andrews
Vincent Allen Brazeau III
Stanley Demetries Dykes
Lucas John Field
Katelyn Renee Haggerty
Mary Joanne Kipp
Ian Scott McClanan
Jonah Michael McNair
Caitlin Morgan Nicol
Samantha Paige Noyes
Taylor-Elise Madison Pecor
Hayden John Ryan
Alison Faith Sadlow
Karem Amer Safa
Sierra Cecile Tatro
Metal Fabrication
Keegan James Barrows
Logan Michael Briggs
Kaeli Marie Dean
Troy Michael Dean
Keegan Sean Dellaghelfa
Evan James Drawec
Noah James Grimes
Dakota Lawrence Hayes
Amy Lee Lafosse
Nicholas Michael Mroz
Shane Joseph Proctor
Omar Malik Ibn Uqdah
Simon Cole Zaleski

Tags: graduation 2021,   McCann,   

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NBCC Honors NBEOC Team, Remembers Joe Manning

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition presented the Northern Berkshire Emergency Operations Center Team with the Hero Award at their 35th annual meeting.
"This goes to a group of individuals that came together as a team to make sure this community stayed connected, informed, and were supplied with the necessary resources," board President Jennifer Civello said Friday at the meeting that was held at Greylock Works. "All while ensuring the safety systems continued uninterrupted during the pandemic."
Every year at its annual meeting, NBCC presents the Hero Award to a group or individual who has made a difference in the region.
This year the choice was clear — the Northern Berkshire Emergency Operations Center (NBEOC) Team, who quickly mobilized and reacted to a global pandemic that was firming its grip around Berkshire County.
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