McCann grads on going forth: 'We are talking to be heard'

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NORTH ADAMS — How will you use your voice?

That was the question posed by salutatorian Megan Goyette to her fellow graduates from McCann Technical School on Wednesday.

"I personally think we have a lot to say, and I think this is our time to start to practice making sure we are heard," Goyette said. "Tonight is where our lives truly begin."

Goyette noted that, growing up, she "hardly talked" and was "master of the one-word answer."

But the Class of 2019 is finding its voice, just as Goyette did standing in front of a crowd of hundreds at McCann's graduation ceremony.

"We aren't talking to hear ourselves speak anymore, we are talking to be heard," Goyette said.

A sense of pride permeated the proceedings Wednesday as, from Alves to Zappone, McCann graduated 108 seniors during its annual ceremony held at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Campus Center gymnasium.

To valedictorian Emma Lee Marino, high school is just the first piece of life's puzzle.

"High school is full of many experiences — some may be bad, while others may be good. But all of these memories are a part of the piece that high school plays in the life puzzle," Marino said.

For those not happy with their high school experience and how it shaped them, Marino offered advice.

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"Use your adaptability and be open to new experiences provided by your future path," Marino said. "Use high school as your base and spread your wings. Further develop all the pieces to your puzzle and live your life to the fullest."

Some graduates will choose to further their education, while others plan to enter the workforce directly.

"Whatever your after-high school plans are, remember this one statement: High school is only a stage. Don't let it define you, but let it shape you. Be open to new experiences, take in every drop of knowledge you can, but don't forget — McCann will always have your back," Marino said.

Principal Justin Kratz also highlighted the camaraderie that exists within the student body.

"It's the welcoming vibe that the student body extends to one another here at McCann," Kratz said. "You all come in from a bunch of different towns and schools and yet somehow, for the most part, everyone is made to feel welcome and everyone is generally accepted and respected."

Gary Rivers, chairman of the Northern Berkshire Vocational Regional School District's School Committee, noted that only a small percentage of students in America graduate with a degree from a technical high school.

"Thank your, parents, for having the wisdom and foresight for having you come to McCann, for they have given you far more than a high school education. They have given you a golden key that will enable you to unlock doors as you go through life," Rivers said.

Superintendent James Brosnan asked the graduates to remember their classmates.

"Look around — this is the group that you have done everything with for four years," Brosnan said. "This is your community."

Adam Shanks can be reached at ashanks@berkshireeagle.com, at @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter, or 413-629-4517.


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