Valedictorian Lucas Wildrick reminded his peers to follow their dreams and passion, seize opportunities, and not to fear taking risks. See more photos here.
DALTON, Mass.— Wahconah Regional High School graduates were reminded to follow their dreams, remain strong, and persevere during their ceremony on Sunday.
Families, friends, and faculty gathered in the high school gym to honor 111 graduates to celebrate their accomplishments despite the challenges they faced.
Speakers reminded the graduates that the obstacles they overcame over the last four years instilled in them strength and perseverance that will help them on their next journey.
The start of the graduates' high school journey was cut short due to the pandemic requiring the students to adjust to a virtual atmosphere, salutatorian Sheffield Drewry.
"This time was not easy, but every student sitting before you today showed strength in their perseverance," Drewry said.
"We made the most of uncertain times. Even though we couldn't be together, we were there in spirit."
The students not only adjusted to a pandemic but also a new school. Despite that, they are leaving behind their mark.
"Although we left the old Wahconah behind, this class truly came together to make new memories," Drewry said.
"Some of us scored the first goals, points, and baskets in the new Wahconah. Some of us were in the very first plays and musicals of the new Wahconah."
Families watched as their children quickly grew up. In a blink of an eye they reached major milestones from their first steps to getting their driver's license, Drewry said.
"We get to step into the real world to follow our dreams and pursue our goals as we once dreamed of when we were little," she said.
"As we follow our separate paths, let this be a time where you become the best version of yourself. Make your younger self proud to see who they've become."
The valedictorian speech Lucas Wildrick echoed these remarks, adding that despite the feeling of high school being never-ending, the time has flown by and the end is surreal.
"As we move forward onto this next chapter of life we are going to face challenges along the way but remember the challenges you have already overcome and embrace any hardships that may come," Wildrick said.
He reminded his peers to follow their dreams and passion, seize opportunities, and not to fear taking risks.
The struggles that each student overcame taught them valuable skills and made them resilient so they can achieve great things in life, Wildrick said.
"Whatever you may be going on to do after high school you're going to go places you've never been to and see things you might not see again," Wildrick said.
"It can be scary but we've been given the tools to succeed in our next chapter."
These graduates stand out as learners and collaborators Central Berkshire Regional Superintendent Leslie Blake-Davis said.
"You have put your trust in us as educators, to provide educational opportunities that will allow you to pursue what is most meaningful to each of you and what you are most passionate about. You are our North Star," Blake-Davis said.
While preparing for this year's address she reached out to some of the students to learn their hopes and dreams.
"Your responses were passionate about having a positive impact on humanity through service, creating meaningful connections and using your own life experiences as a source of strength and motivation," Blake-Davis said.
Principal Aaron Robb thanked the staff for their educating the students during the uncertain times that the pandemic and the new school transition caused.
He also thanked the students' parents and guardians and added that graduation is not for the students.
Robb told the parents and the graduates to close their eyes and think about what he said. He gave the graduates and families one last homework assignment and told them to reflect on one moment that made them proud and to share it with each other immediately after the ceremony.
Each graduate walked one by one to receive their diplomas as they were applauded by their loved ones. The graduates stood tall with diplomas in their hands and celebrated with silly string and a blast of neon orange mist.
Wahconah Regional High School Class of 2023
*National Honor Society +National Business Honor Society
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