image description
The 61 graduates of the class of 2024 pop confetti cannons on stage at Drury High School on Thursday night.
image description
image description
image description
image description
image description

Drury High Graduates Told Challenges Prepared Them for Future

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story

Graduates in the School of Rock prepare to serenade the gathering. See more photos here.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Drury High School graduates on Thursday were told they will face challenges but also have the determination to achieve their dreams. 
 
"As we look back at our time in high school, we're reminded of the goals we set and the ones we actually reached," valedictorian Brooke Bishop said. "Whether you were going to have academic achievement, greatness in sports or even being on time for class, every goal was important."
 
Her own goals, which she'd written to herself, was "you better have a best friend and be valedictorian." 
 
Setting those goals was more than just defining what they wanted to be, they were setting up the steps to make them a reality, she said.
 
"We have the potential to shape the future remarkable ways we have leaders and  innovators who are smart and passionate by striving to achieve our goals we can make our dreams a reality."
 
The 61 members of the class of 2024 entered the high school auditorium to "Pomp and Circumstance" played by the band and took their places on stage before the crowded room. 
 
Class co-President Abigail Percy welcomed the gathering and graduate Abigail Merrick directed the band playing the national anthem. The School of Rock chorus sang "More Than a Band" and Jacinta Felix made the yearbook dedication to teacher Andrew Boudreau. 
 
"As we reflect on our journey, we remember the challenges we've faced and the triumphs we've celebrated. Each obstacle taught us resilience, every success reminded us of our potential," said salutatorian Ferris Miksic.
 
"Today is not an end but a beginning. The world awaits our contributions, our innovations and our compassion. As we step into this new phase, let's carry forward the spirit of curiosity, the courage to challenge the status quo and the commitment to making a positive impact."
 
This class's high school experience had started off in the midst of a pandemic and a lot had been asked of them, said Superintendent Barbara Malkas. "You helped us to navigate the storm of COVID-19 and, hopefully, along the way you also learned a few that will inform you as you go on to the next chapter of your life."
 
She told them that life's ups and downs are temporary, and that technology is no substitute for positive interaction, as they learned from the pandemic. But that experience also demonstrated how adaptable they could be, she said.
 
"People always say how much they hate change, but life is changeable and changing all the time," she said. Being able to adapt to whatever life may throw your way is a hallmark of resilience and perseverance."
 
Mayor Jennifer Macksey, who presented the diplomas with Malkas and Principal Stephanie Kopala, remembered her own graduation 33 years prior. 
 
She thought she knew everything then, she said, asking the graduates — and their parents — if they knew everything. There were some yeses in response. 
 
"Then I started my life and it started to evolve. And I realized I learned a lot at Drury High School, but it grounded me. The great education and experiences that I had helped me navigate life's experiences as an adult," the mayor said, and read Sandra Magsamen's children's storybook "You" to them about exploring  and questioning life. 
 
"The experiences and life choices you make from this day forward will define you," she said. "You are in control of your destiny and each day you should work to define what your destiny will be whatever. It may not be the same chapter and may be different than what you think today but that's OK. Because you're going to do 'you.' So today class of 2020 for your teachers, parents mentor have given you the tools for success. Now it's time to use those tools in your toolbox."
 
The ceremony ended with the moving of tassels, the explosion of confetti and the singing of the alma mater "Mother Drury on the Hill."
 
Kopala told the graduates that they would face hardship and unkindness in the years to come but to remember the most important opinion is their own. 
 
"Staying true to your convictions is a path of resilience. Challenges will test your grit and your principles will be put to the test," she said. "Remember, it's in these moments that your true strengths will shine. Let your convictions to lift you up."
 
She told them to have the courage to change what isn't working. History is filled with those who, armed with their convictions, changed the course of their lives and communities.
 
"Your belief will be tested but your perseverance will carry you through," said Kopola. The journey may be long and challenging but the view from the top is worth the climb. As you step into the next chapter of your lives, stay true to your convictions, be courageous, be kind and steadfast in your vision, embrace chaos and handle 'hard' better. The world awaits your unique contributions."
 
 
The graduates of the Drury High School class of 2024
 
Abigail Lyn Bailey*
Jasmine Jade Beagle 
Patriccia Elizabeth Belanger
Brooke Yvonne Bishop+
Danni Mary Bordeau+
Joshua Ryan Brooks
Marley Elizabeth Brothers*
Grace Margaret Brulé
Nathan William Burdick
Daphne Erin Catelotti
Tatum Leigh Ciempa
Anthony Isaac Lee Cohn+
Chase Joseph Copeland
Carter Andrew DeGrenier-Waters
Donte Alexander Dillard
Link Domenichini
Bunny Dukes
Dominic James Duteau
Camron Joseph Goman
Kailee Josephine Goodell
Elijah Bowen Goodermote
Abigail Grace Goodhind
Elijah Gordon
Rachael Lyn Herrmann+
Aiden Cole Howard
Emma Jo Hurlbut-Morgan*
Jocelyn Nancy Johnson
Elise Marie Kerkhoff
Hailey Patricia Kingsley* 
Mackenzie Elizabeth Klein*
Kaelyn Deanna Kozik
Logan Ford Lesage
Jessalyn Liang+
Mason Avery Liebenow
Hunter Charles Marceau
Kendall Elsie Martin*
Lauren Elizabeth Matys*
Avery Francis Mazza 
Ashley Hellen McClellan
Abigail Rose Merrick*
Ferris Alastair Miksic+ 
Kaitlyn Emily Mongeon* 
Darian Michael Moorhead
Melanie Sage Moresi+
Ray Parson Tristan
Olivia Marie Patenaude*
Abigail Brigid Percy 
Chandler Phillip Pinsonneault
Xavier Allan Pratt
Angel Fabian Pucheta
Aleecia Glory Richard
Hannah Jane Shears+
Destiny Rose Smith*
Jahmeelah Sontee Solomon 
Ava Sumner
Nadia Abigail Taft
Isiah Marquis Williamson
Memphis Lee Wood
Michelle Lynne Wood*
Chandler David Worthington+
Austin Michael Wysocki
 
*Honors   +High Honors

Tags: Drury High,   graduation 2024,   

If you would like to contribute information on this article, contact us at info@iberkshires.com.

North Adams Council OKs $49M Budget for Fiscal 2025

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday approved a $48,891,455 fiscal 2025 budget, up $1,481,385 or 3.12 percent over this year. 
 
The budget includes a school budget of $20,357,096, up $302,744 or 1.51 percent over this year. 
 
The major drivers are the general increases in the cost of supplies, utilities and insurance; a 2 percent cost of living raise for nonunion employees; upgrades in software and equipment; reclassifications of several positions and additional clerical staff. 
 
Mayor Jennifer Macksey provided the city budget, school budget, compensation and classification plan and capital improvement plan in a bound document with summaries and graphs explaining expenditures. 
 
Finance Committee members recommended the total to the full City Council, calling it "fiscally responsible."
 
Councilor Keith Bona, Finance chair, said committee members did raise objections or concerns during deliberations, particularly Councilor Andrew Fitch over the lack of a city planner and Councilor Ashley Shade over the need for more building maintenance. Shade voted against the public safety budget Tuesday over that issue.
 
"The majority did support each department recommending it to the council and again, there were some some minor changes between the draft budget and what's in front of us," he said. 
 
View Full Story

More North Adams Stories