Zombie speech sets mood at Drury High School graduation


Photo Gallery | 2014 Drury High School Graduation

NORTH ADAMS -- What do zombies have to do with high school graduation? Turns out a lot, according to Drury High School Class of 2014 salutatorian Alison Tassone.

She chose this comparison as departing words to her classmates during Thursday night's commencement exercises. Though she tried to think up inspirational statements, "all that came to mind was the inevitable," she said. "That everything we know is about to change, and change very suddenly."

Tassone said her comparison paralleled the Centers for Disease Control's use of a simulated attack of the undead to prepare people for a disaster.

"What if the zombie apocalypse actually happened?" she asked, and joked her and her classmates had difficulty making it through a seven-hour power outage last month.

Tassone made the case that her class's four years at Drury prepared them well -- science classes taught prevention of disease, she explained, while history classes taught lessons learned in previous plagues.

But while survival is the only goal in a zombie apocalypse, life after high school involves much more, she said.

"Life will be different for all of us," she said. "As you depart, take what you will need. Of all your supplies and tools, just remember, knowledge will be the greatest one."

The departing seniors were sent off with music by the Drury High School Band and Drury Chorus, and attendees saw one class in action -- the Performing Arts Management class set up equipment to project key moments on the front and rear of the gymnasium.

Principal Amy Meehan commended the 98 graduates -- the first class to graduate since the district's reorganization -- for academic diligence and pursuing their passions.

She compared students to characters in the "Winnie the Pooh" series of children's stories. Pooh looks like he has fluff for brains on first glance, she said, but on second glance, he "is a deep thinker. He appreciates the simple and uncomplicated nature of life."

"Navigating through Drury and preparing to leave can feel overwhelming, much like Piglet felt in the forest," she continued. "It's easy to feel small when the world feels so big."

Hopefully, a dependable, organized friend like Rabbit will put students at ease, she said.

Valedictorian Morgan Michaels' speech, delivered in verse, urged her classmates to "take the plunge, soak up knowledge like a sponge."

"Feel the rhythm and the rhyme of each and every roller coaster ride," she read. "The swells and falls and the everlasting song that will follow you your whole life long, if you remember that who you are is who you're with, and that where you're going, is nowhere near gone."

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Drury Class of 2014

Elias Alexander, Greg Alexander, Emma Arabia+, Alexis Bedini+, Megan Benoit, Megan Blanchard, Kayla Bobbitt+, Leah Bohl+, Jacob Boillat*, Mackenzie Bona, Richard Bostwick, Bethany Brayman*, Tyler Briggs, Tia Brown+, Adam Burdick, Steven Burdick, Rachel Capek*, Alison Cellana+.

Kaitlin Cirullo*, Isiah Clark, Hannah Collier+, Tyler Copeland, Tonecia Corbin, Tyler Cote*, Allison DeGrenier+, Amber DiGennaro, Rebeccah Durant, Kendalle Felter, Glen Field Jr., Elizabeth Foster, Evan Gardzina, Matthew Gardzina, Aubrey Garner*, Cori Ghidotti+, Rachael Hakeem*.

Jaslynn Hall-Rodriguez, Ashley Hebel*, Jessica Hover*, Amber Iacuessa*, Nicholas Illich, Dionnedre Jackson, Sharon Jimenez+, Evan Johnson+, Joshua Kiley, Brandon Koprowski, Austin LaBlue, Hannah LaBonte*, Stephen LaForest+, Morgan Lamarre*, Michaela LaPlante*.

Matthew Lawrence, Joseph Levanos, Joseph Liporace+, Brady Luczynski, Tylor Mandeville, Alyssa Marceau+, Mark Marin, Travis Martell, Haven Martin, Maria Mazzu+, Kyle McClendon, Ann McKenzie, Dakota Mclear, Edward McMillan Jr., Allison Meehan+, Morgan Michaels+.

Austin Miller-Robinson, Emily Moulton*, Joseph Moulton, Austin Myers*, Alyssa Neff+, Jerad Neville, Kami Norcross*, Megan Peters+, Alexis Pettengill-Montanye, Elijah Pinsonneault, Brittney Poirier*, Michael Price, Catherine Record+, Michael Robinson, Morgan Rochelo.

Joseph Ryan, Tiffany Scott, Ashley Scrivens*, Samantha Scutt, Breanna Simard+, Tiana Sims, Jonathan Sprowson, Dalton Sumner, Marlee Suters+, Alison Tassone+, Domenick Tassone, Matthew Tower, Matthew Vachereau+, Jordan Vanuni*, Michaella Vecchiarelli+, Stephin Wallace*, Kasha Wissman*.

+ High Honors

* Honors

Drury High School Awards & Scholarships

Valedictorian Medal: Morgan Michaels.

Salutatorian Medal: Alison Tassone.

Dr. Richard Ziter Science/Pre-Med Scholarship: Cori Ghidotti.

North Adams Police Union Scholarship: Catherine Record.

Robert James Dean Memorial Scholarship: Allison Meehan.

Peter Foote Memorial Scholarship: Tyler Cote, Cori Ghidotti.

Jocelyn E. LeClair Memorial Scholarship: Maria Mazzu, Cori Ghidotti.

"Coach" Herb Johnson Scholarship: Kasha Wissman.

Anna Yan Ji Scholarship: Alison Tassone, Alyssa Marceau.

Anna Yan Ji Scholarship - 3 C's Awards: Emma Arabia, Jacob Boillat, Alison Cellana, Allison DeGrenier, Cori Ghidotti, Evan Johnson, Morgan Lamarre, Alyssa Marceau, Allison Meehan, Morgan Michaels, Catherine Record, Alison Tassone, Domenick Tassone, Michaella Vecchiarelli.

The Williamstown Community Theatre (The "Willie"): Emma Arabia, Matthew Gardzina, Rebeccah Durant.

Amy Remillard Award: Anna Arabia.

Richard "Buckwheat" Lefave Award: Alison Cellana, Morgan Lamarre.

Spc. Michael R. DeMarsico II Memorial Scholarship: Tyler Briggs, Matthew Vachereau.

American Legion Frank R. Stiles Post #125 in memory of Paula Jean Bourdon Raymond: Hannah LaBonte.

American Legion Post #125 Commander Award: Hannah LaBonte.

State Street T Neighborhood Kids Scholarship: Hannah LaBonte.

American Legion School Awards: Austin LaBlue, Amber DiGennero.

American Legion Auxiliary Unit 125 Anne and Anthony Sacco Scholarship: Hannah LaBonte.

Marine Corps Awards: Aubrey Garner, Ann McKenzie, Tylor Mandeville.

Dr. Arthur L. Mazzu Memorial Scholarship: Maria Mazzu.

Achievement Awards: Art: Rachel Capek. Culinary Arts: Jessica Hover. English: Joseph Liporace. Family and Consumer Science: Kendalle Felter. Foreign Language: Joseph Liporace. Health: Joshua Kiley. Mathematics: Alison Tassone. Music: Allison Meehan. Physical Education: Joseph Levanos. Science: Matthew Vachereau. Social Studies: Joseph Liporace. Technology Education: Travis Martell. Media Arts: Alyssa Marceau.

High Honor Early Graduation Award: Rebeccah Durant.

DAR Good Citizen Certificate: Emma Arabia.

Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Assoc.: Evan Gardzina.

Senior Band Scholarships: Alison Cellana, Allison DeGrenier.

Paul Hartery Band Award: Emma Arabia, Michella Vecchiarelli, Catherine Record, Evan Johnson.

Betty Von Mosch Memorial Scholarship: Allison Meehan.

Sceva E. Whitney Memorial Scholarship: Matthew Vachereau.

John Philip Sousa Award: Morgan Michaels.

Berkshire Symphony Award: Morgan Michaels.

Pauline Young Outstanding Senior Vocal Award: Alyssa Marceau.

Louis Armstrong Jazz Award: Matthew Vachereau.

Media Arts Awards: Allison Meehan, Alyssa Marceau.

Danny Alcombright Memorial Scholarship: Emma Arabia.

Frank N. Costa Public Service Scholarship: Kendalle Felter.

The Stephen J. Drotter Memorial Scholarship: Matthew Vachereau.

Byron E. & Rose L. Crum Scholarship: Tyler Briggs, Tyler Cote.

Lafayette/Greylock Lodge of Masons: Stephen LaForest.

Helen Hickey George Scholarship: Emma Arabia.

Father Nelson Ziter Scholarship: Matthew Vachereau.

Ted Ziter Sports Scholarship: Alyssa Marceau.

MountainOne Bank Scholarship: Megan Peters.

David Morton Memorial Scholarship: Breanna Simard.

Salem State Alumni Scholarship Fund: Bethany Brayman.

"Bud" Saulnier Memorial Scholarship: Catherine Record.

The Clarksburg Parent Teacher Group: Joseph Liporace.

Gordon B. Neville Memorial Scholarship: Mackenzie Bona.

The Richard C. Lussier Jr. Memorial Scholarship: Stephin Wallace.

Dora A. Radlo Memorial Scholarship: Amber Iacuessa.

Stephen Sears Memorial Scholarship: Joseph Levanos.

Richard C. Milanesi Scholarship Fund: Alexis Bedini.

Sons of the American Legion Post 29 Readsboro: Tia Brown.

Arnold Ross Witto Memorial Scholarship: Rachel Capek.

Diane Niles Scholarship: Jordan Vanuni.

Drury High School Class of 1955: Kayla Bobbitt.

Sons of the American Legion Post #125: Hannah LaBonte.

Clifton R. Tower Jr. Scholarship Award: Joseph Levanos.

Daniel E. Ralston Memorial Scholarship: Alison Tassone.

Jason A. Dupuis Memorial Scholarship: Domenick Tassone.

Goldie Sabin Memorial Scholarship: Kayla Bobbitt.

Ermyn Beall Teaching Scholarship: Allison Meehan.

Philp and Exilda Bianco Scholarship: Alyssa Neff, Emma Arabia.

Benvenuti-Crosina Scholarship: Tyler Cote.

William A. Courchene Scholarship: Morgan Michaels.

Francis J. Walsh Memorial Scholarship: Tyler Briggs.

American Legion Post 152 Richard A. Reuther Scholarship: Michaela LaPlante.

Pizzi Scholarship: Marlee Suters.

Anita Lentine Memorial Scholarship: Jordan Vanuni, Alison Tassone.

North Adams Travel Club Award: Stephen LaForest.

Drury Boys Soccer Booster Club Award: Tyler Cote, Matthew Vachereau, Stephin Wallace, Jacob Boillat, Joseph Liporace, Evan Johnson.

Drury Girls Basketball Booster Club: Emily Moulton, Amber Iacuessa, Megan Benoit, Kasha Wissman, Morgan Lamarre.

Drury Boys Basketball Booster Club: Tyler Briggs, Michael Robinson, Kyle McClendon, Brandon Koprowski.

North Adams Teachers Association Scholarship: Allison Meehan.

Drury Girls Soccer Booster Club: Alison Cellana, Hannah Collier, Cori Ghidotti, Morgan Lamarre, Alyssa Marceau, Allison Meehan, Emily Moulton, Breanna Simard, Alison Tassone, Kasha Wissman.

Shirley Anne Jackson Memorial Scholarship: Kami Norcross.

John Paul Breen Memorial Scholarship from money raised by Flordia Mountaineers Snowmobile Club: Matt Vachereau.

The Whitney Basketball League Award: Mackenzie Bona, Kaitlyn Cirullo, Amber Iacuessa, Morgan Lamarre, Emily Moulton, Kasha Wissman.

Drury Girls Softball Booster Club: Alison Cellana, Amber Iacuessa, Emily Moulton, Catherine Record, Jordan Vanuni.

Richard J. Stanton Memorial Trophy for Excellence in Track: Character and Conduct On and Off the Field: Alyssa Marceau.

William R. Robinson Memorial Scholarship (Trophy): Tyler Cote.

Drury Boys Baseball Booster Club Award: Tyler Briggs, Joseph Liporace, Tyler Cote.

Drury Football Booster Club Book Award: Jon Sprowson, Brandon Koprowski, Domenick Tassone, EJ McMillan.

North Adams Soccer Club Scholarship: Cori Ghidotti.

Francis Millard Memorial Scholarship: Tyler Briggs, Matthew Vachereau.

American Legion Post 29 Readsboro, Walter L. Case Scholarship: Tia Brown.

American Legion Post 29 Readsboro, Dennis Comai Scholarship: Michaella Vecchiarelli.

Robert E. Armitage Memorial Scholarship: Emma Arabia.

Joseph Lentine Memorial Scholarship: Morgan Lamarre.

Florida PTA Kelly Boyce Memorial Scholarship: Leah Bohl.

Florida PTA Charlie Cooper Memorial Scholarship: Alexis Bedini.

Drury Class of 1968: Emma Arabia.

David C. Ashkar Memorial Scholarship: Emma Arabia.

Florida PTA Barbara Downey Memorial Scholarship: Kasha Wissman.

Greylock Community Club Scholarship: Tyler Cote, Michaela LaPlante, Kami Norcross, Matthew Lawrence, Stephin Wallace, Alison Cellana.

Margaret Whitney Dennis Scholarship: Morgan Lamarre.

Friends of North Adams Youth Basketball League: Tyler Briggs, Domenick Tassone.

Drury Faculty Association Scholarship: Morgan Michaels, Alison Tassone, Allison Meehan.

Drury High School Class of ‘64: Tyler Cote.

Frank Zoltek Memorial Scholarship: Matt Lawrence, Alison Cellana.

Bernard R. "Bucky" Bullett Memorial Scholarship: Alison Tassone, Domenick Tassone.

Ernest H. and Mary F. Rosasco Scholarship: Catherine Record.

Abbott Memorial School Education Association Scholarship: Kasha Wissman.

Matthew T. Zappone Memorial Scholarship: Alison Cellana.

Helen F. LeSage & Leon L. LeSage Jr. Memorial Scholarship: Kayla Bobbitt.

Holy Rosary Society Scholarship from the Parish of St. Elizabeth of Hungary: Emma Arabia, Matthew Vachereau.

Sean Busbee Williams Memorial Scholarship: Matthew Lawrence, Kaitlyn Cirullo, Joseph Liporace, Breanna Simard.

Adams Community Bank Scholarship: Maria Mazzu, Michaella Vecchiarelli, Marlee Suters, Kami Norcross, Leah Bohl.

V. James Rotolo Memorial Scholarship: Kasha Wissman.

Harry J. Bontempi Memorial Scholarship from Peter & Patricia Bontempi: Tia Brown, Mackenzie Bona, Marlee Suters, Megan Benoit, Alyssa Neff, Rachael Hakeem, Hannah Collier, Rebeccah Durant, Ashley Scrivens, Sharon Jimenez.

Raymond F. Mahar Memorial Scholarship: Matthew Vachereau.

Greylock Federal Credit Union ‘Treat Everyone Better Than They Expect' Scholarship: Cori Ghidotti.

Wendy A. Lincoln Memorial Scholarship: Kaitlin Cirullo.

Peter Mancuso Memorial Scholarship: Cori Ghidotti.

Kitteredge Family Scholarship sponsored by Naomi Chapter #17 Eastern Star: Catherine Record.

Florence and Jerry Siciliano Memorial Scholarship presented by the Greylock PTG: Maria Mazzu.

North Adams Historical Society: Stephen LaForest, Rachel Capek.

Norman Najimy Fine Arts Award: Allison Meehan.

American Legion Auxiliary Unit 125 Laura Carmel Scholarship: Jordan Vanuni.

Leo Ethier Memorial Scholarship: Matthew Lawrence.

Berkshire County Roy Thompson Scholarship: Allison DeGrenier.

Specialty Minerals Inc. Scholarship: Evan Johnson.

Jack Kelly Memorial Scholarship: Jacob Boillat.


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