Not a member? Become one today!
         iBerkshires     Berkshire Chamber     Berkshire Community College     City of Pittsfield    
PHS Graduates: You Always Have a Home Under The Dome
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
06:33PM / Sunday, June 09, 2024
Print | Email  

PHS graduates celebrate on Sunday at Tanglewood.

The 184 graduates were told they'll always have a home under the dome. See more photos here. 

LENOX, Mass. — Pittsfield High School graduates were reminded that they will always have a home under the dome.

Under an arch of purple and white balloons, 184 seniors concluded their high school experience at Tanglewood on Sunday. It was the first time in five years that graduation had been held at the Lenox institute. The 2024 class includes more than 50 high honors students, nearly 30 honors students, Advanced Placement capstone degree and certificate recipients, and Seals of Biliteracy in four different languages.

"Just remember you always have a home under the dome," Principal Maggie Harrington-Esko said.

Class speakers Brooke Tripicco and Frankielys Payano De La Cruz detailed how they found a home in the storied, vine-kissed building and in the individuality that PHS fosters.

"'Welcome to our home under the dome' was one of the first things said to us, setting the stone for our journey. While it took some time to adjust to the rapidly changing world around us, we ultimately had an unforgettable four years in this building we've now outgrown," De La Cruz said.

"It's been our home, the place where we've matured and thrived, and now, as we reach the end of our path at Pittsfield High School, we carry with us the memories and lessons that have shaped us."

She could not wait to graduate at the start of junior year, her hardest academic year, but when senior year flew by and it came time to conclude her high school career, she was not ready.

The AP scholar recognized parents, families, friends, "and those that aren't here today but that were there for us when we needed them," thanking them for "showing us the path and confidence to strive forward."

"Now I feel confident that we will keep walking forward with our heads held high and a bright smile, knowing we will always have a place in our home under the dome," De La Cruz explained.

Tripicco said her mother didn't want her to attend PHS, "A big inner-city building that looked like a town hall, snaked with ivy, and complete with looming steps in the front, the prospect was daunting."

"Here is a confession: I also did not want me to go to PHS. I attended the open house in eighth grade out of sheer proximity, wandering the halls with a typical middle school scowl, feigning indifference. Much to my stubborn-natured dismay, I don't think I've ever changed my mind about something faster," she explained.

"I remember saying to my parents, verbatim, 'This school really feels like a school.' To this day I am unable to pinpoint exactly what led me to characterize it as such. Something about the combination of long hallways I was sure to get lost in, tiny, rusty-looking lockers, and elaborate murals drew me in. Above all, though, the enduring spirit of the people was most inviting, and my subconscious seemed to anticipate the myriad opportunities awaiting. I knew that, once I moved past the initial culture shock, I would find my people, my place, and my identity."

To put it plainly, people at PHS are Tripicco's people.

"Sure we weren't all the best of friends, but we will forever be a part of each other's stories. We share this journey in self-discovery — this long, harrowing, and wonderful journey. When we think back on our high school years, we will picture each other's faces and hear echoes of our laughs and conversations. The lessons we learned, not necessarily from chemistry or lectures, but from life, we will carry with us," she said.

"The education we received was fuller than just memorization of vocab terms or arithmetic formulas. Even the most unremarkable of circumstances — passing periods, final moments before the bell, the silence of an almost empty building — taught me something, and I am eternally grateful for that."

One of her favorite facets of the school is the freedom students are given to explore interests in various pockets of the building, including academics, sports, English, advocacy, and art. She has wholeheartedly embraced this, even dyeing her hair purple, and says the spirit is a testament to PHS's impact.

"Nobody can be reduced to one singular label — every one of us is a delightful multiplicity, uninhibited in our explorations of self," Tripicco said.

"We have all been afforded the incredible opportunity of finding our own place in the world from within the safety of our lovely, decrepit building. The vast network of interpersonal support radiates positivity, our school spirit evident of that."

De La Cruz moved to the United States at the age of 9 from the Dominican Republic. She delivered her speech in English and Spanish as a tribute to Hispanic families and students.

Speaker Abigail Malumphy also recognized the "collective triumph" that the class of 2024 shares.

"Education. It is not just a tool but a key to success in any aspect of life. Education in any form is a
right but has become a privilege," she asserted.

"This privilege, often denied to many, especially girls in certain parts of the world, is something we have been fortunate to receive. As Americans, we have the perpetual ability to expand our intelligence in any form we desire. This is an honor that should never be taken for granted."

Malumphy reminded her peers that they have just spent four years receiving a free education— something that not everyone has access to.

"Education is one of the most powerful tools any one person may have. People, money, and worldly goods may come and go, but you will always have your intelligence," she said.

"We are allowed to learn in a world where many cannot. We are allowed to think, innovate, create, and evolve into the most unique and powerful versions of ourselves, all through the process of education. With this, we must take advantage of the opportunity at hand. So, no matter what you choose to do after you walk across the stage, do SOMETHING."

She urged the class to use this opportunity to positively implement change within their lives or others lives.

"Think of the thousands of young girls who are continuously denied education solely due to uncontrollable factors such as turmoil within their country, religion, or societal beliefs; who are patiently waiting for the day the world believes it is fair for them to learn," she said.

"Use what you have learned within these past four years to turn education into a right for all, not a privilege for some."

This diploma signifies not only academic achievements but also personal growth throughout these four years, Malumphy said.

"After a freshman year of isolation, we returned as individuals, not knowing how to learn and interact collectively," she added. "Over the next three years, PHS taught us how to be united while celebrating the individualism of each of our peers."

She concluded by telling the class "Our futures are truly as bright as the dome's peak on a sunny day. Let's use our education to light up the world."

Harrington-Esko said she joined a group of Berkshire County educators in 2019 to define what a portrait of a graduate looks like, shifting to vertical collaboration in 2020.

"We were asked to let hope and the power of education guide our conversation," she said.

"Fast forward a few years and I'm standing in front of our class of 2024. Those uncertain times have passed, but we now have new uncertainties."

The Portrait of a Graduate convening visioned several competencies for students: to be responsible, a prepared individual, a communicator, a global citizen, a critical thinker, and a lifelong learner.

"Some people here today have traveled the world and others have never left Berkshire County. Being a global citizen is not about packing your bag and going on a long excursion but if you have the time to travel, you should do that as well," she said.

"Being a global citizen is about learning about different cultures and places. It's about developing respect for others and trying to build connections, build your community, and welcome others in. I can say with confidence that the PHS 2024 has left our building a more inclusive state."

The world has so much to teach you if you're just willing to learn, she concluded.

"The portrait of a Berkshire County graduate is you. You are what the world needs and we are so proud of you as you move on to your next chapter in life."

The ceremony also honored Gabrielle Corbett, who passed away suddenly of a brain aneurysm in 2016 at the age of 11. She would have been a 2024 graduate.

"Her death was sudden, heartbreaking, and left the Egremont Elementary community devastated. The world had lost a beloved daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, classmate, and friend. Gabby was a ray of sunshine, bright and hopeful. She extended her hand out to others and shared her compassion with everyone around her. She was truly an angel who had a pure and genuine love for the world around her. From her family, to her friends to church, school, and theater, Gabby had a special place in her heart for all the people and things she loved and adored," graduate Jada Siv said.

"Like we all did as kids she had big dreams and an even bigger imagination that brightened up any room she walked into. Her presence was a gift and the lack of it today is disheartening but I know that she's smiling down at us right now. She's celebrating and rooting for us to follow our dreams and become the best version of ourselves. Even though she's not here physically. I know she's been with us every step of the way."

The ceremony included performances from the PHS band, chorus, and orchestra. Dea Courtney Wood-Crooks sang the national anthem, Hailey Rumlow recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and Kayla Chard was the emcee.

Awards and scholarships for Pittsfield High class of 2024.

The graduating Pittsfield High School class of 2024

Mia Adair
Keegan Aldam
Victoria Isabel Amaya
Marcello Arienti
Natalie Arnhold*+
Mia Arpante*
Sophia Artioli
Daniel Ayala
Brandon Balcazar Chacon*
Ava Barber
Arianna Barbieri
Kayky de Oliveira Barbosa
Christopher Michael Barosso*
Jayden Barton
Jaysen Barton
Juan Emilio Bedard-Torres
Carissa Berard+
Braden Bienvenue
Ashton Bock
Dylan Bona-Foley
Riley Bordeau
Emma Boynton
Ethan Bretmaier*
Conner Brennan
Patrick Brennan+
Nicholas Brindle+
Charlotte Brooke
Da'Sean Brown
Charles William Burega*
Dae'Sean Burgess
Tanaisha Burton
Mariana Campos-Velazquez
Joshua Capitanio
Katarena R. Castagna+
Cristian Cepeda Vargas
Kaylan Cetti
Jarvis Chadwell
Kayla Chard*+
Julia Chizik
Justin Najah Clark
Kiere Cogswell
Kiernan Conway
Donald "Donnie" Corbett*
Lexy Corcoran+
Brodie Scott Cripps
Cayden Crupi
Adrian J. Cruz Lay
Nyla Alexandra Cuyler*†
Cecile Daly
Timothy Dean
Aiden Michael Deane
Alyssia Louise Dejax
Rena Delphia
Shawn Demarsico
Olivia Sandra Doyle
Zaid Duffy*
Jake Christopher Duquette*+
Brigitte Dutan
Jenesyss Aryanna Eason
Elizabeth Tracy Erwin*
Benjamin Eshun
Ivan Josh Eugenia-Jackson
Ciara Rose Fiscella*+
Hailie Foster
Gemini Antonio Garcia
Lanishya Michelle Garrett
Tyler Noelle Garrett
Gavin Gaulden-Wheeler
Samuel Gleason
Iannah Goines
Dyllen Gomes
Jerson David Gonzalez Pineda
Charlotte Nicole Goodnow+
Izabella Marie Green LeClair*
Micah Griffin
Brayden Gutzmer*
Julia Haggerty-DeGiorgis*
Cameron Harrington
Rachelle Harrison*+
KeShya Hawkins
Zaire Hawkins
Katerine Hernandez Cermeno
Jayden Hernandez
Cody Hoisington
Alexandra Nicole Ingenito
Benjamin Richard Jacob
Janessa Jamross+
Claire Marie Jones*+
Daniel Kankam
Emma Elizabeth Kinnas
Riley Katharyn Laurent*+
Summer Rae Lawton*
Hien Le+
Alexandra Leahey
Niah Leshore
Alexis Lewis
Kieran Lovallo
Brittany Lummus+
Isabella MacDonald*†
Trey MacHaffie
Jason Maguire
Ethan Maisonneuve
Abigail Malumphy*†
Livia Marsh
Analeese Matos*+
Alyssa McNeil
Brandon Mejia
Jordan Miller
Martin Montero
Arabella Danielle Monyahan
Tobias Moore
Hannilor Nda Morkeh
Ellen Clare Muller*
Harley O'Shea
Michaela O'Soro
Charisma Christine Ortiz
Aria Paduano
Piper J. Patton
Frankielys Payano de la Cruz*
Maddalina Alfreda Penna
Yaniel Perez de la Cruz
Logan Phillips
Josephina Luisa Pixley
Olivia Poneck
Amanda Pou Burgos
Madison R. Powell*
Owen Pratt
Janiya Pryce
Dylan Quintero
Diego Race
Karly Reda
Lorelai Elizabeth Regalmann
Jaiden Reid
Paola Reinoso*
Kamryn Renata
Jack Arlen Ressler
Jack Thomas Robarge*
Felix Rose Rogers
Alex Rosa Soto
Lydell Rowe
Hailey Rumlow*+
Ryan Richard Russo
Britain Sadoway*
Juan Pablo Salcedo Sandoval
Jonathon J. Sampson
Joseph Sanchez
Hailey Marie-Rose Santiago
Zackary Lawrence Santolin
Kandyce Scace
Camila Andrea Sebastian Riva*†
Zavion Serrano Lopez
Phillip Shaw
Makai Shepardson
Myah Sinopoli
Jada Siv*+
Kiyah DeJoira Smith
Aiden Socie
Cal Soldato
Nico Sondrini
Immar Humberto Sosa Sigaran
Jamieson Spaniol
Dontae Stanton
Nye Emerson Stedman
Cazmere Stein
Amelia Stevenson
Ava Telladira+
Elliot Michael Trainor
Brooke Adler Tripicco*
Grace Ungewitter*+
Karla Angelica Villanueva
Ella Walger
Roshan Thomas Warriar*+
Makayla Jayne Wax*
Joseph Ilan Weiner *†
Dominic Michael Weller
Brandon Patrick Westbrooks
Sadie Wicker
Cameron Williamson
Dea Courtney Wood-Crooks
Isabella M. Zeno*+
* National Honor Society + 2024 Class Council  † Student Council


More Featured Stories is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 106 Main Sreet, P.O. Box 1787 North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384
© 2008 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved