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The William Stickney Pittsfield Adult Learning Center holds its graduation ceremony at Taconic High School auditorium on Wednesday.

Pittsfield Adult Learning Center Celebrates Graduates

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The 48 graduates of the William Stickney Pittsfield Adult Learning Center walked proudly in their black caps into the Taconic High School auditorium to receive their diplomas. 
It was the first time in three years the ceremony had been held in person and the graduates were ushered as  Anthony Gubelman played "Pomp & Circumstance" on the grand piano.
Families, friends, faculty, and staff gathered in the Taconic High School auditorium to celebrate the hard work these graduates did to earn their adult diplomas, or pass the General Educational Development Test
or High School Equivalency Test.
Julianna Tremblay's family had always told her that high school would be the best years of her life but for her, it was the opposite. 
"At school I would keep to myself because in the past I was always used by people that I used to call my friends. They would use me for comfort, talk to me out of pity, or knew I was an easy target to bully. And a fear of that happening all over again, I distanced myself from everyone," Tremblay said. 
Despite these circumstances and her learning disability she was a good student with good grades but in 2021, she dropped out of high school uncertain of the future. 
With guidance from her family and with the recommendation from the school guidance counselor Tremblay enrolled in Adult Learning Center. 
Right from the start, the faculty and staff were supportive and guided her to this moment, she said, as her family, in the audience, shed tears of joy.
Director Paul Gage commended all the graduates for their achievement and said goodbye with one last lesson –- to not forget about the four most important questions they should ask themselves. 
They were to continue to ask what they want to do, to take chances and not be afraid of failure, to enjoy the journey, and to stay present in the moment.  
Gage demonstrated the fact that the future is unclear but that they can find the path right for them by sharing the story of runner David Gilbert who was fired by his boss after requesting some time off to recover from running 3,500 miles for charity. 
"Gilbert couldn't anticipate where his life was going at the time he was fired but he rolled with the changes in his life. And he decided from that point forward in his life revolved around running, running races, and raising money for charity," Gage said.
"So finally, that being said, take those lessons, I wish you all the best of luck in your quest to make your dreams happen."
Superintendent Joseph Curtis noted how graduation means something different to every graduate and that every graduate turned their obstacles into opportunities. 
"You did not let barriers stop your progress as a person. You saw those barriers as opportunities that lead you to a different path, a road less taken in your overall life journey," Curtis said. 
Mayor Linda Tyer spoke on this year's large class size and how all of them had a support system whether it be friends, family, or a teacher that helped them get to this moment. 
"While you did the hard work, you also did not walk this path alone. I see from where I stand, all of the people, your family, your friends, your teachers, they have been a part of your transformation and your achievements" she said. 
"And they've been part of your journey all along the way. When the road ahead looked uncertain and the challenge steadily increased their encouraging words and their belief in you, and your potential, gave you the courage to keep going and the belief that you could do it." 
Graduate Tynisha Young also spoke of how supportive the educators were when she started continuing her education after leaving school to work and raise her children.  
"Yes, we left high school for a reason but we never gave up and tonight we are walking testimonies of that," Young said. 
2022 Graduates
Shawn Y. Agudo 
Lilly R. Alibozek*
Julia Antunez Garcia 
Lindsay A. Avery 
Bree Nicole Ballantyne-Hinckley
Trent A. Beals*
Tasha S. Bleau 
Dawn M. Bonilla 
Kacie T. Bourquard 
Francesca A. Bruno 
Nicole P. Cohen 
Jaydin N. Cooper* 
Emma S. Dargi
Mason D. Douglas*
Brianna M. Elling* 
Asia A. Filliault 
Daniel J. Flynn 
IndiaRain I. Hankey 
Evan Harding
Connor A. Harford* 
Brendan S. Jamieson 
David C. Jansen*
James E. Kingsbury
Hannah M Lester 
Laura Juliana Lopez-Manasalva
Bethanie J Malloy 
Deseray M. Malloy*
Mackenna O. Malloy* 
Chloe-Cathleen H. McEneany 
Joshua J. McFalls
Jack S. Olender* 
Olivia N. Pedretti 
Christina I. Perry 
Oscar G. Ramos 
Rebecca R. Ramos
Mirical N. Robinson 
Skylar Dayne St. John* 
Joshua A. Sargent* 
Samuel H.O. Schultheis 
Francis Someah-Kwaw
Sarah C. Squires 
Sharye K. Tibbs-Jackson
Julianna A. Tremblay* 
Tynisha S. Young 
*Adult Diploma Program 
Award Recipients
Volunteer Angels: Cherie Ericson, John Foster 
Linda Hermanski Positive Mindset Award: Ashley L. Martinez 
Roselie Jean-Louis ACL All-Star Award: Jack S. Olender 
William Stickney Scholarship: Lindsay Avery, Bree Ballantyne-Hinckley, Tasha Bleau, Dawn Golden, Alanah McLear, Oscar Ramos, James R. Tandoh 
Distinguished Alumna Award: Ginder Cruz-Rosario 

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Letter: Playing Ukraine National Anthem at Tanglewood on Parade Was Bad Idea

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

As recently reported by The Eagle in a piece by Clarence Fanto, at Tanglewood on Parade, the Ukrainian national anthem was played. Many in the shed and the lawn stood up in support. While I would certainly concede that Russia is the worst of the two countries in terms of human rights abuses, Ukraine has many despicable aspects to it of which I am highly confident almost all the people standing were ignorant.

Boston Pops conductor Thomas Wilkins said, "The Boston Pops and the Boston Symphony stands with the people of Ukraine, and salutes all who stand for democracy and against injustice, and are willing to sacrifice everything for their freedom." Ironically, Mr. Wilkins also made reference to the rights of the Ukrainian people to have self-determination.

Let me explain why I used the word "ironic." While most Americans do not know it, the present government of Ukraine obtained power by a violent coup in 2014. The Revolution of Dignity, also known as the Maidan Revolution, took place in Ukraine in February 2014 at the end of the Euromaidan protests, when a series of violent events involving protesters, riot police, and unknown shooters in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv culminated in the ousting of elected President Viktor Yanukovych and the overthrow of the Ukrainian government. In a Cato piece titled, "America's Ukraine Hypocrisy," Ted Galen Carpenter writes: "Despite his leadership defects and character flaws, Yanukovych had been duly elected in balloting that international observers considered reasonably free and fair — about the best standard one can hope for outside the mature Western democracies."

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