‘We are all superheroes’ Athol High graduates 90

  • Allie Jane Porter adjusts her cap following the conclusion of the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2018 at Athol High School Sunday afternoon. —ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • Athol Daily News/Mike PhillipsSeveral members of the Athol High School Class of 2018 decorated their caps for Sunday’s commencement.

  • Athol Daily News/Mike PhillipsSalutatorian Nicholas Wornham delivers his speech at the Athol High School commencement Sunday.

  • Athol Daily News/Mike PhillipsValedictorian Mercedez Young delivers her speech at the Athol High School commencement Sunday.

  • Athol Daily News/Mike PhillipsGraduates and their friends and families at the Athol High School Class of 2018 commencement Sunday.

  • Athol Daily News/Mike PhillipsGraduates toss their mortarboards into the air at the Athol High School commencement Sunday.

  • Athol Daily News/Mike PhillipsSeveral members of the Athol High School Class of 2018 decorated their caps for Sunday’s commencement.

  • Athol Daily News/Mike PhillipsGraduates and their friends and families at the Athol High School Class of 2018 commencement Sunday.

  • Athol Daily News/Mike PhillipsGraduates Lauren Mack and Amber Mahony hold roses they received at the Athol High School commencement Sunday.

  • Athol Daily News/Mike PhillipsThe Class of 2018 await their diplomas Sunday at the Athol High School commencement.

  • Athol Daily News/Mike PhillipsAmber Mahony takes a selfie at the Athol High School graduation Sunday.

  • Athol Daily News/Mike PhillipsCeremonies at the Athol High School graduation Sunday.

  • Athol Daily News/Mike PhillipsGraduate Steven Wilkey checks his phone during the Athol High School commencement Sunday.

  • Athol Daily News/Mike PhillipsDestiny Wrigley and Kylle Soltysik show off roses they received at the Athol High School graduation Sunday.

Published: 6/4/2018 2:37:56 PM
Modified: 6/4/2018 2:37:58 PM

By DEBORRAH PORTER

Staff Writer

ATHOL — A sea of red and white wove its way onto the Athol High School athletic field, members of the Class of 2018 stepping in unison to the tune of “Pomp & Circumstance,” played by the AHS band Sunday afternoon to begin the graduation ceremony. Ninety young men and women radiated confidence as they took their places under a cloudless sky, eyes searching for loved ones in the huge crowd.

Many caps were decorated with colorful flowers, hand-painted designs, and words of meaning to its wearer. Many gowns were worn with a variety of cords, and AHS Principal Mitchel Aho explained the meaning of the various colors: blue — National Honor Society Executive Board; gray — Mu Alpha Theta; and green — Best Buddies.

Following the processional, all remained standing and pivoted to gaze, hands over hearts, at the U.S. flag waving in the brisk breeze at the far end of the field. A voice from the crowd said, “With pleasure,” as the first notes were played.

The welcome was given by the president of the Class of 2018, Colby Mason.

Salutatorian Nicholas Wornham addressed the crowd, thanking his family “for being my backbone and giant support system through all this,” and to his friends for having his back, and all his teachers who have inspired him to pursue his dreams, and his girlfriend Hannah “for being greatest force of motivation he could ever have.”

He talked about wandering the empty halls of Athol High and remembering Mr. Caldwell’s hilarious power-points, and Miss Jelly’s stories of her newborn puppies

“We have all been on a clear-cut path for the last 13 years and not that path changes. Each of us will go our own way, follow our own path. Some paths will connect; some will grow very distant, but nonetheless they will all come together again — they always do.

“High school was difficult and exciting. We fought through all the hardships and we are here. Although the future is scary, we should be proud and excited for what we will accomplish, whether it will be college, the workforce or those brave individuals entering the military. Remember we are the class of 2018 and we will always have each others’ backs. The Avengers are not the only superhero team out there. And we are strong enough to make that a fact...Thank you to the class of 2018, we are all superheroes in our own way, and now it’s time for us to make a dent in this world.”

Valedictorian Mercedez Young took the podium.

“It’s an honor to stand before you my peers who have inspired me and who I have inspired,” she said. “We’ve all waited for this day for sometime now and much like a warm spring breeze after a cold and brutal winter it has finally arrived. I can easily recall the relief I recalled following the last day of school.” She asked everyone attending to close their eyes for 30 seconds and think about those who’ve helped you get here, the sacrifices they made, etc.

“You should remember to thank all those people later, too. I want to thank many individuals who have helped me through these past four years...class of 2018, although not all of us are the best of friends, we have built each other into the best versions of ourselves and together we have done wonderful things. Even though we are leaving each other today, we will continue to do great things.

“For a bit of life advice ... remember not to be a jerk, right now you might be on the top of the food chain, a team captain or conductor or section leader of a band, or valedictorian, but one day, before you reach those lofty goals in your prophecies read the other day, you’ll be an amateur. This isn’t a bad thing though. You have to begin at the bottom to appreciate everything you have in life.” She wished her classmates the best of luck in their future endeavors, and “I hope you carry the legacy of our class.”

Young concluded her speech with a favorite quote, “You can rattle the stars; you can do anything, if only you dare.”

Aho announced the Athol High School community will send off the class of 2018 with $181,850 in scholarships.

The first presenter, David St. Jean, President of the Athol Boosters Association, announced just under $13,000 in scholarships. scholar athletes, Marley Aldrich, Haylie Baker, Kaitlin Baptista, Justin Blake, Noah Giuffre, Crista Jillson, James Laford, Hannah Lajoie, Lauren Mack, Amber Mahoney, Colby Mason, Robbie Nelson, Anthony Potenti, Kristopher Selinas and Nicholas Wornham.

Mitchel Grosky presented the scholarships awarded from the Athol Lions Club, to: Marley Aldrich, Daryl Chapalonis, Lauren Mack, Amber Mahoney, Brooklyn Vaillancourt, Emily Vescovi and Nicholas Wornham.

William Caldwell presented the AHS Scholarship Association scholarships totaling $93,725 to 38 members of the class of 2018 and to 33 prior graduates who are currently attending college. All qualifying students who successfully completed the application process received an award.

Scholarships are awarded to the following graduating seniors:

Marley Aldrich, Haylie Baker, Kaitlin Baptista, Felicity Barilone, Kolbin Baronas, Natalia Bermudez Maldonado, Justin Blake, Hannah Bonefan, Daryl Chapalonis, Kyla Citrowski, Samuel Clark, Lexee Cote, Emily Davis, Sarah Demboske, Sean Fisher, Noah Giuffre, Crista Jillson, James Laford, Hannah Lajoie, Lauren Mack, Meghan Mahan, Amber Mahony, Colby Mason, Autumn McKnight, Chase Michaud, Robbie Nelson, Kyle Pickup-Hagie, Julia Ramos, Kyla Rathburn, Patrick Salone, Kristopher Selanis, Savannah Smart-Gray, Brooklyn Vaillancourt, Emily Vescovi, Erin Willard, Nicholas Wornham, Destiny Wrigley and Mercedez Young.

In addition, the following awards are being presented:

William G. Lord Award – Hayden Herk, Payton Parker; Henry A. Stearns Memorial Scholarship – Mercedez Young; Cathy Cole Award – Chase Michaud; Webb R. And Ethel S. Avery Award –Kyla Citrowski ; Edwin C. Temple Memorial Award – Daryl Chapalonis; Athol American Legion, Post 102, Award – Justin Blake, Lauren Mack; Lloyd Newton Memorial Award – Lexee Cote.

Gladys Crawford Webber Award – Mercedez Young; Theodore H. and Helen E. Berard Memorial Scholarship – Kaitlin Baptista; Ashley Beth Softic Scholarship Award – Emily Davis

Henry J. and Clare E. Brouillet Award – Felicity Barilone, Emily Vescovi; Alan Plotkin Scholarship – Nicholas Wornham; Joseph R. Songer Scholarship – Emily Davis; Daniel Laakso Scholarship – Julia Ramos; Randall Kamerbeek Scholarship – Robbie Nelson; Etienne Lozier Scholarship – Sean Fisher; John Linker Scholarship- Haylie Baker; Morris E. Katz & Freda H. Katz Award- Daryl Chapalonis; Cathy Robuccio Award – Hannah Lajoie; Ann Findlay Williams Scholarship – Mercedez Young; Farrar Family Scholarship Fund in honor of David Farrar – Marley Aldrich; Brian Rivers Award – Noah Giuffre, Julia Ramos; Karen Raymond Dugay Award –Haylie Baker; David McCaffery Scholarship – Nicholas Wornham; Greg Stone Award – James Laford; Norman Desrosier Scholarship – Crista Jillson; McDonald Corporation Scholarship – Julia Ramos; Lithuanian Club Scholarship –Amber Mahoney; Cinny Hager Scholarship – Julia Ramos; Amber Simmington Volleyball Award – Haylie Baker, Julia Ramos, Paige Truehart.

The following graduates received the Helen C. Ellsworth Award: Marley Aldrich, Haylie Baker, Kaitlin Baptista, Felicity Barilone, Kolbin Baronas, Natalia Bermudez Maldonado, Justin Blake, Hannah Bonefant, Daryl Chapalonis, Kyla Citrowski, Samuel Clark, Lexee Cote, Emily Davis, Sarah Demboske, Sean Fisher, Noah Giuffre, Crista Jillson, James Laford, Hannah Lajoie, Lauren Mack, Meghan Mahan, Amber Mahony, Colby Mason, Autumn McKnight, Chase Michaud, Robbie Nelson, Kyle Pickup-Hagie, Julia Ramos, Kyla Rathburn, Patrick Salone, Kristopher Selanis, Savannah Smart-Gray, Brooklyn Vaillancourt, Emily Vescovi, Erin Willard, Nicholas Wornham, Destiny Wrigley, Mercedez Young.

Zack Bergquist, 2017 recipient of the Greg Stone Award, announced this year’s recipient: James Laford.

Presenting the James Trombly and Mike Bridgwood Memorial Awards were Barbara Clyatt and Cody Bridgwood. The scholarships were awarded to Savannah Smart-Gray and Clyatt’s godson, Jordon Carrasquillo. Cody presented awards to Marley Aldrich and Meghan Mahan.

Doug Kaczmarczyk presented Athol Police Association’s scholarships to Sean Fisher and Crista Jillson.

Superintendent Darcy Fernandes addressed students, saying in part, “I hope you will live your life seeking out the dream you have for yourselves. The path you choose is always a good one. If you believe in you. In a few years, no one will care if you were the cool kid, the quite kid, or the artsy kid. They will not care if you went to college or not. What they will care about is the content of your character and the way in which you have made things happen for yourself. You are the guiding force in your own destiny. Good luck as you carve out your destiny.”

Graduates are (* denotes National Honor Society) — Mark Donald Albee-Benoit, *Marley Suzanne Aldrich, *Haylie Virginia Baker, *Kaitlin Baptista, Krystina Rose Barber, Kayla Michelle Barbour, Felicity Gloria Jean Barilone, Kolbin Robert Bastine Baronas, David James Beckwith Jr., Carlos Bermudez Maldonado, Natalia K. Bermudez Maldonado, Tatyana Leigh Bermudez, *Justin Alan Blake, *Hannah Jean Bonenfant, Jonathon Patrick Bonilla Ciferri, Hudson Robert Carlson, Jordan Tyler Carrasquillo, Nicholas James Casella, Alyssa Jo Cassarino, *Natasha Dali Castillo-Vargas, Daryl Michael Chapalonis, Deven Joseph William Chapalonis, Brianna Alyssa Cherrier, *Kyla Andrea Citrowski, Samuel Thomas Clark, *Lexee Violet Cote, Brenton Andrew Crockett, Carlee Ann Croteau, Joey Michael Cummings, Emily Elise Davis, Sarah Elizabeth Demboske, Ashley Nicole Drew, *Sean Anthony Fisher, *Amanda Lee Fuller, Amber Faith Gibson, Dakota Lucas Gilman, Noah John Giuffre, Jasmine Valeda Goulet, Alicia Marie Harris, Alexis Carol Hart, Hayden Timothy Herk, Corey Raymond Jack, *Crista Nicole Jillson, Andrew Lee King, *James Paul Laford, *Hannah Renae Lajoie, Bernabe Arquimides LeBlanc, Luke Jason Leadbetter, *Joey Jesse Lehtomaki,Lilly-Beth Dee Linnell, Matthew Ryan Logan, *Lauren Joyce Mack, *Meghan Margaret Mahan, Amber Andrea Mahony, Joshua Arthur Martin, *Colby Lloyd Mason, Autumn Rose McKnight, Chase Louis Michaud, Robbie William Nelson, Payton Paige Parker, Christopher Joseph Perrault, Kyle Christopher Pickup-Hagie, Allie Jane Porter, Anthony Shawn Potenti, Angela Marie Price, Julia Ramos, Kyla Marie Rathburn, *Makayla Meagan Raymond, Joseph John Ricchiazzi Jr., Isabel Maria Rivera, Gabriel Michael Roberts, Evan John Saisa, Patrick Christopher Salone, Kristopher Edward Patrick Selanis, Brianna Jean Siwek, Savannah Lynn Smart-Gray, Kylie Ann Soltysik, *Paige Gabrielle Truehart, *Brooklyn Paige Vaillancourt, Alivia Rose Valcourt, Emily Kathleen Vescovi, Justin Michael Wallace, Ryan Alyn White, Steven James Wilkey, Erin May Willard, Layne Emerson Willhite, Dakota Lee Williams, *Nicholas David Wornham, *Destiny Rose Wrigley, *Mercedez Elizabeth Young.


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