Valedictorian Lucas Wildrick reminded his peers to follow their dreams and passion, seize opportunities, and not to fear taking risks. See more photos here.
DALTON, Mass.— Wahconah Regional High School graduates were reminded to follow their dreams, remain strong, and persevere during their ceremony on Sunday.
Families, friends, and faculty gathered in the high school gym to honor 111 graduates to celebrate their accomplishments despite the challenges they faced.
Speakers reminded the graduates that the obstacles they overcame over the last four years instilled in them strength and perseverance that will help them on their next journey.
The start of the graduates' high school journey was cut short due to the pandemic requiring the students to adjust to a virtual atmosphere, salutatorian Sheffield Drewry.
"This time was not easy, but every student sitting before you today showed strength in their perseverance," Drewry said.
"We made the most of uncertain times. Even though we couldn't be together, we were there in spirit."
The students not only adjusted to a pandemic but also a new school. Despite that, they are leaving behind their mark.
"Although we left the old Wahconah behind, this class truly came together to make new memories," Drewry said.
"Some of us scored the first goals, points, and baskets in the new Wahconah. Some of us were in the very first plays and musicals of the new Wahconah."
Families watched as their children quickly grew up. In a blink of an eye they reached major milestones from their first steps to getting their driver's license, Drewry said.
"We get to step into the real world to follow our dreams and pursue our goals as we once dreamed of when we were little," she said.
"As we follow our separate paths, let this be a time where you become the best version of yourself. Make your younger self proud to see who they've become."
The valedictorian speech Lucas Wildrick echoed these remarks, adding that despite the feeling of high school being never-ending, the time has flown by and the end is surreal.
"As we move forward onto this next chapter of life we are going to face challenges along the way but remember the challenges you have already overcome and embrace any hardships that may come," Wildrick said.
He reminded his peers to follow their dreams and passion, seize opportunities, and not to fear taking risks.
The struggles that each student overcame taught them valuable skills and made them resilient so they can achieve great things in life, Wildrick said.
"Whatever you may be going on to do after high school you're going to go places you've never been to and see things you might not see again," Wildrick said.
"It can be scary but we've been given the tools to succeed in our next chapter."
These graduates stand out as learners and collaborators Central Berkshire Regional Superintendent Leslie Blake-Davis said.
"You have put your trust in us as educators, to provide educational opportunities that will allow you to pursue what is most meaningful to each of you and what you are most passionate about. You are our North Star," Blake-Davis said.
While preparing for this year's address she reached out to some of the students to learn their hopes and dreams.
"Your responses were passionate about having a positive impact on humanity through service, creating meaningful connections and using your own life experiences as a source of strength and motivation," Blake-Davis said.
Principal Aaron Robb thanked the staff for their educating the students during the uncertain times that the pandemic and the new school transition caused.
He also thanked the students' parents and guardians and added that graduation is not for the students.
Robb told the parents and the graduates to close their eyes and think about what he said. He gave the graduates and families one last homework assignment and told them to reflect on one moment that made them proud and to share it with each other immediately after the ceremony.
Each graduate walked one by one to receive their diplomas as they were applauded by their loved ones. The graduates stood tall with diplomas in their hands and celebrated with silly string and a blast of neon orange mist.
Wahconah Regional High School Class of 2023
*National Honor Society +National Business Honor Society
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.
Pittsfield ZBA Grants Casella Permit for Waste Transfer Facility
By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Zoning Board of Appeals calls Casella's planned redevelopment of the former trash incinerator an improvement to the site.
Last week, the panel approved a special permit to allow a waste transfer facility at the site on 500 Hubbard Ave. Casella Waste Management purchased the waste transfer facility on Hubbard Avenue from Community Eco Power LLC, which filed for bankruptcy in 2021 and has demolished it for redevelopment into a waste transfer station.
The owners say the trash will be brought to the facility and transferred away daily. Concerns that were voiced about the project include odor and impacts to the surrounding area but Casella says the new operation will be less of an impact than the former.
"I think this is going to be a vast improvement based upon the facility that was there previously. I know that sometimes you would get a sight of the other one, they used to dump the waste and it was laying like a floating pond," board member John Fitzgerald said.
"And since the trash is not going to be there, it's going to be in and out, I think the odor will be reduced and I think the vermin will be reduced."
It was also pointed out that the site has handled trash for 40 years.
"I think a lot of the odor before was related to burning," board member Esther Anderson "And there's not going to be burning so it it's going to be greatly reducing the amount of odor and if it's not sitting there is no place for vermin to be."
The former incinerator, including a 118-foot tall stack, has already been demolished a fabric structure is being used temporarily for waste handling.
Fixed in front of the Pittsfield Police Station, the statue honors thirteen former K9s dating back to 1976. Blue roses were placed for each pup next to the bronze Shepard that sits proudly on top.
click for more
Growing up in upper Manhattan in New York City, he attended and graduated from what was then All Hallows Institute, a private boy's prep school. He did his basic training at Fort Riley, Kan.
click for more