Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Cloudy
59°
Cloudy
Hi 61° | Lo 53°

Smith Vocational graduates 100, including one from class of 1942

  • Alexis Svoboda receives an award from Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Principal Tracy Lyon during commencement Thursday at John M. Greene Hall.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Alexis Svoboda receives an award from Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Principal Tracy Lyon during commencement Thursday at John M. Greene Hall.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Edward Morrissey, 91, center, receives his diploma during the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School commencement Thursday at John M. Greene Hall.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Edward Morrissey, 91, center, receives his diploma during the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School commencement Thursday at John M. Greene Hall.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Jillian Daniels, the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Class of 2013 salutatorian, celebrates after receiving her diploma Thursday at John M. Greene Hall.JERREY ROBERTS

    Jillian Daniels, the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Class of 2013 salutatorian, celebrates after receiving her diploma Thursday at John M. Greene Hall.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School graduate Declan Sterling Zoledziewski-Nygren hugs Susan Shepard, the school's dean of students, after receiving his diploma Thursday at John M. Green Hall.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School graduate Declan Sterling Zoledziewski-Nygren hugs Susan Shepard, the school's dean of students, after receiving his diploma Thursday at John M. Green Hall.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Class of 2013 President Alice Kubacki speaks during commecnement Thursday at John M. Greene Hall.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Class of 2013 President Alice Kubacki speaks during commecnement Thursday at John M. Greene Hall.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Alexis Svoboda receives an award from Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Principal Tracy Lyon during commencement Thursday at John M. Greene Hall.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Alexis Svoboda receives an award from Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Principal Tracy Lyon during commencement Thursday at John M. Greene Hall.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Alexis Svoboda receives an award from Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Principal Tracy Lyon during commencement Thursday at John M. Greene Hall.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Edward Morrissey, 91, center, receives his diploma during the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School commencement Thursday at John M. Greene Hall.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Jillian Daniels, the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Class of 2013 salutatorian, celebrates after receiving her diploma Thursday at John M. Greene Hall.JERREY ROBERTS
  • Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School graduate Declan Sterling Zoledziewski-Nygren hugs Susan Shepard, the school's dean of students, after receiving his diploma Thursday at John M. Green Hall.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Class of 2013 President Alice Kubacki speaks during commecnement Thursday at John M. Greene Hall.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Alexis Svoboda receives an award from Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Principal Tracy Lyon during commencement Thursday at John M. Greene Hall.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

Smith Vocational awarded degrees to 99 graduates in the class of 2013 — and one from 1942 —Thursday night in John M. Greene Hall at Smith College. While parents and students expressed pride and relief, speakers looked to the challenges ahead.

“Right now we’re at a new beginning,” valedictorian Kimberly Ludwig said in her address. She anticipated that the “real world” after high school would be difficult.

“But that’s OK,” she said, “because the more difficulties you encounter, the more proud you will be of your successes.”

Her sentiments echoed those expressed by Peterson, who told graduates, “You will not be judged on how you celebrate your victories, but how you stand up from your defeats.

“Above all else, persevere, keep moving forward, never quit,” he added.

The theme of perseverance may be particularly apt this year, as Smith Vocational awarded a degree to Edward Morrissey of Northampton 71 years after he dropped out of the school to work. Morrissey, 91, is a World War II veteran and served 25 years as a Northampton police officer. He had been just six weeks short of graduating when he dropped out of what was then called Smith’s Agricultural School.

The audience erupted in cheers and gave a standing ovation as Morrissey came to the stage to receive his diploma. “Ed Morrissey, you are now officially an alumni of Smith’s Agricultural School, class of 1942,” said Peterson.

Before presenting diplomas to the class of 2013, Dean of Students Susan Shepard gave special recognition to graduate Jacob Sanborn, 18, of Westfield, who said he was in and out of the hospital during his senior year.

“Jake has had an extremely difficult last couple months,” said Shepard, “but he is here tonight with his usual mischievous smile.” Sanborn, who studied manufacturing technology at Smith Vocational, said he has a job lined up for after graduation and that the school has prepared him well.

Heniek Wykowski, 19, of Southampton, agreed. “Smith Voke has helped me a lot. Learn a trade, get three years in my trade … and I got a job placement after this, so Smith Voke is a great place to be.”

In her speech, Ludwig reflected on the many reasons why her classmates chose the school. “I didn’t want to sit at a desk every day. I wanted to learn by doing things, instead of talking about them.”

Accordingly, she encouraged her classmates to “be proud of who you are and proud of your actions.”

Principal Tracy Lyon said that the 2013 graduates are the first that she has worked with for all four of their years at Smith Vocational. “Each of you had your own challenges along the way,” she said.

“Savor the good moments, like right now,” Lyon advised the graduates, “and let go of the not-so-good ones as quick as you can, so they don’t hold you back.

“You can do whatever you put your mind and effort to. There is great learning and satisfaction in accomplishing something that you had to struggle to achieve,” she added.

“You need to find balance and peace within yourself,” said Peterson. “As Nelson Mandela did, you need to find the best in every situation. … Nothing is permanent, and you can always change your situation.”

Comments
Legacy Comments1

Glad they didnt mention the mayor was there. Kept himself out of trouble

Post a Comment

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