Mount Greylock Class of 2016 looks back on 'good old days,' years ahead
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WILLIAMSTOWN — The moment was filled with sunshine and smiles as the Mount Greylock Regional High School Class of 2016 walked their last steps as students and their first steps toward the future during a June 4 graduation.
The seniors made a bit of history this year when they became the first class to choose whether to wear a red or a white cap and gown. Traditionally male students wore red attire while the females dressed in white caps and gowns.
The 79 seniors were welcomed by class president Lilly P. Crolius. Diplomas were presented by Mount Greylock Regional School District Superintendent Douglas Dias, MGRHS Principal Mary MacDonald and Jacob Shutz, high school vice-principal.
Benjamin G. Hynes was the student-selected speaker. Hynes spoke of days gone by and the years ahead, and made note of a possible fashion faux pas.
"Anyone else find it a little weird that we're all wearing the same thing?" he said. "Kinda awkward. Good thing we're not at prom."
Hynes shared a quote: "I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them."
"These sure have been some good old days," he said. "Looking back now it's pretty easy to see how great these past years have been even though it hasn't always felt that way."
Hynes shared memories with the class.
"Although these good old days may be drawing to a close I know we're all going to find a new set in the future," he said.
Faculty-selected speaker Hannah P. Fein recalled personal journal entries that revealed page after page of teen angst. There was much more to the story, she said.
"We've experienced the highs and lows, the drama, and the stress that inevitably come with high school," Fein said. "But now, we realize that we can look back and focus on the beauty of it, and so we are in a unique position to change our perspective in the future. Everyone in this class is going on to do great things, but all of our futures will include struggles. When it gets hard out in the real world, we will all be better equipped to handle it, because we know that we have developed the skills and experiences that have enabled us to endure, and because once we get through the tough times, it's the positivity that stays with us."
High school can be a tough time but the rewards are great, Fein said.
"No matter what school you attend, high school can be rough in the moment," Fein told her classmates. "And the fact that so many of us look at our years here so fondly is a testament not only to our strengths and capacities as young adults, but it is also a testament to this school. A school that can take a teenager with as many miserable journal entries as I had and make her view her high school career in such a positive light is doing something right."
Several graduates shared their hopes for the future. Jack Hydon plans to attend Berkshire Community College for music production.
"I am already working with a producer, recording music," he said.
Hope Willis said that she hopes to have a career focused on neuroscience.
"I'm going to the University of Washington in Seattle," she said. "It's very far away, and I like going to new places and meeting new people.'
Nevin Nassar said he will study environmental issues at Berkshire Community College.
"I'm going to miss the way that no matter what happens, everyone here has each others' backs," he said.
Gray Kaegi noted the relatively small class size.
"I really like that this class is so small because I've known everybody," he said. "I think I've had a conversation with every single person in this class."
Maeve Shine said she plans to attend Loyola University in Maryland while Holly Fisher said she will attend St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y.. Bailee Duquette said she is enrolled at LaSell College in Newton.
Ellie Williams said that her higher education destination is Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. There are many things she will miss about her alma mater but one particular daily event tops her list, she said.
"One of my favorite things was eating lunch outside," she said. "People just being with their friends and having fun and enjoying all this beautiful scenery, I am really going to miss that."
The Teacher of Year award was presented to Raymond Miro, a health and physical education teacher. The Staff of the Year award was given to Ed Lamarre, who is a high school custodian.
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