Monday June 11, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Let your high school experience and diploma guide your future.

That was the final thought for the Class of 2012 at Taconic High School as the 211 seniors received their certificates of graduation Sunday afternoon.

During the commencement ceremony in the school gymnasium, class valedictorian Alexis Savery urged her classmates to start moving beyond their four years on the Valentine Road campus.

"We cannot be so concerned with holding onto what is comfortable that we fail to see the opportunities in front of us," Savery said. "For if we dwell on the past, how can we accomplish anything in the future?"

Quoting Mark Twain she added, "Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Graduation is also an opportunity for Taconic's newest alumni to be more inquisitive and daring than ever before, according to Pittsfield School Superintendent Howard "Jake" Eberwein III.

"Today you get a diploma -- a license to ask more questions and be ridiculously curious," said Eberwein.

Taconic's Class of 2012 will soon enter college, trade school, the military or the work force. The relationships forged in high school will either remain strong or begin to wane as the graduates go their separate ways.

For Salutatorian Christopher Cough lin, leaving Taconic is bittersweet as he and brother, Patrick Coughlin, another Taconic graduate, head for different colleges in the fall.

"I have a twin brother, Pat, who is not only my sibling, but also my best friend, role model and one of the funniest people I know," Christopher said. "Although it will be nice not watching his TV shows after school or listening to his music in the car, I will miss my brother when we go to college."

"And besides, who else will help me with my calculus homework?" he quipped.

Taconic Principal John Vos burgh also has special ties to the Class of 2012. Vosburgh taught many of the students as sixth-graders; his last teaching assignment before embarking on an administrative career in the Pittsfield Public Schools.

"I was asked what I will remember most about your class," he said. "It's the professional and mature way you went about your business."

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233.