Principal Justin Kratz addresses the graduates. Look for more photos later.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Graduates from McCann Technical School were advised to thank the many people who helped them to their success and to recognize the strength and value within themselves.
The diploma presentation was a noisy affair as family and friends cheered and stomped their feet on the bleachers in the Amsler Campus Center at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts as the 123 graduates applauded each every classmate on Wednesday night.
Valedictorian Christopher Sunn said every single member of the class, and everyone in the gym, has measurable value defined by their character, their compassion and their actions.
"We should recognize that each person possesses individual talents, strengths and perspectives that contribute to each of our lives. Our value was in the diversity of our experiences, our impact, and the limitless potential that lies within each and every one of us," he said. "So let's use today to acknowledge our personal growth in ways that cannot be represented by something as simple as a greater test score."
It is their kindness, empathy and integrity that allows all of them to form lasting connections and make positive impacts, Sunn said, and they should remember that success is not a solitary endeavor, but a collective effort.
"Success to me is rooted in personal growth and having a positive impact in the lives of other people," he said. "Always remember that your talents, your perspectives, and your actions have enriched our collective experience. So embrace your worth and celebrate yourselves because you've earned it."
And with that he led the class in turning their tassels, completing the awarding of their diplomas by Superintendent James Brosnan and School Committee Chairman Gary Rivers.
Rivers has given a multitude of speeches as a former principal of the school. On Wednesday, he told the class they had made a tremendous accomplishment and congratulated them on their hard work, dedication and commitment.
"If you haven't developed a philosophy of life, maybe it's time to start thinking about it," he said. "Perhaps these few words can get you started, or at least provide you with some thought: Always do the right thing. Especially when no one's watching. When you stumble, make it part of the dance. And remember there's a point in every relationship and friendship where friends stop being friends and become brothers and sisters. Welcome to the McCann family."
Salutatorian Molly Boyer told her classmates that their graduation was a major accomplishment.
"The class of 2023 is extraordinary in many ways and we have grown into extremely mature, responsible and kind young adults," she said. "We have developed a new sense of independence and perseverance. McCann has provided a foundation established a discipline and given us the skills we need to succeed."
Rather than thinking about the past or worrying about the future, Boyer told the graduates to make an effort to be in the moment.
"Today's not so much ending as is the beginning as we turn the page to a new chapter. I want you to remember this," she said. "This is a blank page. You are the author and every day is a new opportunity to be a part of the change you want to see in the world. I encourage you to work hard, take risks, learn from your mistakes, and be patient, honest and kind."
Principal Justin Kratz recognized two longtime members of the school community who were departing: girls soccer coach Michael Dowling and information technology instructor Perry Burdick.
Dowling had been coaching for more than 20 years, Kratz said, and Burdick was retiring after 29 years.
The principal reiterated some of the points that the students speakers had made about kindness and integrity and that, he said, should leave the gathering "feeling hopeful about our future" in a seeming chaotic world.
"You have grown into extremely mature, responsible and kind young adults," he said, adding he wanted to add a twist to Ghandi's quote about being the change in the world.
"I'd like to challenge you all to be the standard you wish to see in the world," Kratz said. "Making through high school is a feat for anyone. You guys did it through a pandemic. There's nothing you guys can't handle."
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Saboteurs Earn Narrow Win in Northern Berkshire Fall Hoop League
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Jake Hall had a double-double to lead the Saboteurs to a one-point win in the Northern Berkshire Sports Academy fall league B Division on Sunday.
Hall scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in a 66-65 win over Adelson and Company at the Armory.
Dave Crtielli scored 13 points, and Sam Larabee finished with nine points and eight rebounds.
For Adelson, Jon Gregory scored a game-high 29 points and collected 12 rebounds. Nick Lewis scored 12 points.
Workaholics 60, Elegant Stiches 40
Amont David scored 16 points, and Darian Vidal finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Dave Vidal scored 12 for Workaholics.
Shamar Ringgold led Elegang Stiches with a game-high 23 points.
Ioka Valley/Original Seed Cigar 65, Northern Berkshire Sports Academy 59