PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Pittsfield High School hosted what is believed to be the very first graduation ceremony in its ‘backyard’ on Sunday, and the first time the event has taken place at the school since at least late from the 1980s.
The graduation celebration for the 187 senior citizens was musically charged with a performance by Ludwig Goransson’s playing band “The Mandalorian,” the choir with a live performance of Panic’s “High Hopes”! At The Disco, graduates clicked their fingers and the orchestra performed “Impromptu” by Jean Sibelius.
PHS choir member and graduate Julia Ostellino-Moran performed “The Star-Spangled Banner”.
The majority of student lecturers recognized post-secondary pathways that do not involve going to university. They stressed that those who choose to practice a trade, enlist in the military, or even take a sabbatical year should be celebrated in the same way.
“You have to realize that college is not for everyone, and that’s good, today we also honor the young men and women who are, who have chosen other paths in life, we honor those who have decided to enlist in the military, and other armed forces, and we honor their great courage, ”said Ryan Muller, class council president.
“We should also not forget those who have decided to go into the trades and enter the workforce directly and who will probably make more money than any of us here today.
Muller pointed out that his peers have entered some of the “world’s most elite universities and colleges” such as Williams College, Northeastern University, University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, ‘University of Rochester and many more.
“What is more important than success, however, is not to get lost along the way,” he said. “Yes, some of us will move away from Pittsfield and never even look back, and that’s okay. This next chapter of our lives is about finding out who we were then, who we are now, and who we hope. be a day. “
Class council member Da’Lisia Adorno said that although COVID-19 is “beyond welcoming,” the school administration was accommodating to her and her classmates as the virus completely changed the way they were educated.
“Not only do we face the normal challenges of being a senior, deciding whether or not to go to college, university, trade school, enlist in the military or take a year off, but we also had to face the challenges that COVID-19 had placed on our shoulders, ”she said.
Adorno said the two weeks of the school’s initial closure in March 2020 quickly turned into 14 months. She referred to the trendy whipped coffee brewing and workouts of YouTube star Chloe Ting to pass the time, which quickly aged with the shutdown itself.
“I know this year was not what we expected 13 years ago,” Adorno told his classmates. “But we have always left our mark here under the Dome, and we will continue to make our mark in the paths we choose.”
Another class council member, Sadiya Quetti-Goodson, believes she will see her peers in magazines, billboards, the National Basketball Association, on Broadway and in the White House.
“There are endless possibilities for us right now, it may seem difficult and confusing or intimidating and overwhelming, but there is beauty in madness,” she said. “I think each of us will end up where we’re meant to be. We can agree and recognize that the world is a bit broken right now, however, you have the potential to reshape the reconstruction and change it for the better. . “
Quetti-Goodson encouraged the class to do what makes them happy, to do what they can to make the world a better place, and to live the life they want to live.
“I further think that it is of the utmost importance to clarify and remind everyone that no one measures your success except yourself, and this next chapter of your life, do not limit yourself to what others think you can do it, ”she added.
“Challenge yourself, don’t take no for an answer and don’t let others determine or dictate your success. Remember what you have overcome to come to this moment today and be proud of yourself. You are the high generals of Pittsfield. “
Acting Principal Maggie Harrington-Esko also reminded graduates that when entering the next chapter in their lives, it is important “to be yourself, to be true to yourself and to be true to yourself. ‘have confidence in who you are’.
“This year the world has seen division, loss and isolation on such a large scale, but in recent months the PHS class of 2021 has brought hope and joy back to 300 East Street,” a- she declared. “You have rebuilt a community here, and for that I am eternally grateful to you. You have filled our home under the dome with kindness, compassion and given us a reason to celebrate.”
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