Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Cloudy
35°
Cloudy
Hi 36° | Lo 21°

Easthampton graduates first class in new high school

  • Easthampton High School Class of 2013 graduate Jonesis Figueroa sings the national anthem at the start of commencement Friday at the school.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Easthampton High School Class of 2013 graduate Jonesis Figueroa sings the national anthem at the start of commencement Friday at the school.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Patrick Ryan performs "Bridgeview Overture" with members of the Easthampton High School Concert Band during commencement earlier this month.<br/>The big day<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Patrick Ryan performs "Bridgeview Overture" with members of the Easthampton High School Concert Band during commencement earlier this month.
    The big day
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Easthampton High School Class of 2013 President Rachel Connell speaks during commencement Friday at the school.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Easthampton High School Class of 2013 President Rachel Connell speaks during commencement Friday at the school.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • The Easthampton High School Chorus sings "Seasons of Love" during commencement Friday at the school.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    The Easthampton High School Chorus sings "Seasons of Love" during commencement Friday at the school.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Class President Rachel Connell hands a diploma to Vito Perrone, the school's principal, for his four years on the job.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Class President Rachel Connell hands a diploma to Vito Perrone, the school's principal, for his four years on the job.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Easthampton High School Class of 2013 Salutatorian Kelly Avard walks to the stage to deliver her speech during commencement Friday at the school.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Easthampton High School Class of 2013 Salutatorian Kelly Avard walks to the stage to deliver her speech during commencement Friday at the school.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Valedictorian Haley Hill speaks during commencement.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Valedictorian Haley Hill speaks during commencement.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Easthampton High School Class of 2013 graduate Jonesis Figueroa sings the national anthem at the start of commencement Friday at the school.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Patrick Ryan performs "Bridgeview Overture" with members of the Easthampton High School Concert Band during commencement earlier this month.<br/>The big day<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Easthampton High School Class of 2013 President Rachel Connell speaks during commencement Friday at the school.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • The Easthampton High School Chorus sings "Seasons of Love" during commencement Friday at the school.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Class President Rachel Connell hands a diploma to Vito Perrone, the school's principal, for his four years on the job.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Easthampton High School Class of 2013 Salutatorian Kelly Avard walks to the stage to deliver her speech during commencement Friday at the school.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Valedictorian Haley Hill speaks during commencement.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

During her address to the 97 graduating seniors, Alcock related her professional career — which has taken her to Greece, Armenia and Jordan — to her own experiences growing up in Easthampton. She gave a brief archaeological history of Easthampton High School, which has now been through four buildings.

“I went to the high school next door, which is well on its way to becoming a thing of the past. But I like those kind of things,” said Alcock, who grew up on Park Street and graduated in the class of 1979. “I’m an archaeologist and I like to study old, dead things. And there is actually no better place for me to speak about my job then Easthampton, because this is where I did my very first archaeological excavation, around the age of 6.”

Alcock said that this year’s seniors will likely always remember that they were in the first class to graduate from the new building. She drew that conclusion from the research she did for her book “The Archaelogy of Memory” about how memory is tied to specific places, which she dedicated to Mount Tom and Fenway Park in Boston.

“You are not only the class of 2013, you are the 149th class to graduate from Easthampton High and there will no doubt be a fifth school someday, which future generations of your children will attend,” Alcock said. “That’s the way archaeology, and life, works.

“This is a big deal. This is a watershed and, from my own experience, I can assure you that no matter how far you travel from Easthampton, it will always be with you, firm in your memory banks,” she continued.

Alcock also encouraged the seniors to continue learning throughout their lives.

“Education we tend to think of as something that gets done to us, inflicted upon us and we are so happy when it is over,” she said. “But eduction, with a capital ‘E,’ is not the same as learning. Learning is a lifelong process, and who knows where it will take you. That’s the adventure of it.”

Class president Rachel Connell in her welcome address also noted the significance of being among the first students to graduate from the new building.

“Friends, family, school members and community members, I would like to welcome you into the new Easthampton High School for the first, and certainly not last, graduation in this building,” said Connell.

“Graduation can seem so far away, and now it’s finally here. Many of us have been through the wringer and have faced hardships that a teenager should not have to face, but you did not give up when your life became sour, and you did not give up when you felt hopeless, because all of you are stronger than that,” she said. “This day is the starting line for our future to take off.”

Connell then presented Principal Vito Perrone with an honorary, homemade diploma to recognize the completion of his fourth year at the school.

Valedictorian Haley Hill and salutatorian Kelly Avard spoke about taking advantage of opportunities, living in the moment, and worrying less about the future.

“The most important thing that high school has taught me is that we all need to take a step back from obsessing about the future and enjoy what’s in our lives currently,” said Hill. “Sometimes by concentrating so much on the exciting things to come, we lose sight of the wonderful things that happen to us every day.”

Related

Easthampton graduates

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Easthampton graduates Katherine Elizabeth Atwater, *Rebecca Lynn Aubrey, *Kelly Morgan Avard, Danielle Nicole Benoit, Jessie James-Patt Boyle, *Samantha Lynn Brand, Marissa Marie Branscomb, Ashley Marie Breen, Alex Robert Brennan, *Molly Emma Cabana, Gabrielle Marie Carey, Angel Raphael Casanova, Jordan Steven Castonguay, Lochlyn McCallum Cernak-Mitchell, Adam Charles Christopher, Connor Charles Churchill, Morgan Lane Churchill, Olivia Aislinng Zegarra Coffey, *Rachel Sarah Connell, …

Legacy Comments0
There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.