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‘Comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable’

  • The Mohawk Trail Regional School Class of 2014 toss their caps into the air to finish off graduation ceremonies on Sunday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    The Mohawk Trail Regional School Class of 2014 toss their caps into the air to finish off graduation ceremonies on Sunday.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Robbie Buoniconti, valedictorian of the Mohawk Trail Regional School Class of 2014, speaks to his classmates during graduation ceremonies at the school on Sunday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Robbie Buoniconti, valedictorian of the Mohawk Trail Regional School Class of 2014, speaks to his classmates during graduation ceremonies at the school on Sunday.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Mohawk Trail Regional School Superintendent Michael Buoniconti reminices about the Class of 2014 during graduation ceremonies at the school on Sunday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Mohawk Trail Regional School Superintendent Michael Buoniconti reminices about the Class of 2014 during graduation ceremonies at the school on Sunday.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • A recent graduate of the Mohawk Trail Regional School reaches out to congratulate a friend during the ceremonies at the school on Sunday, while other members of the class of 2014 look on.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    A recent graduate of the Mohawk Trail Regional School reaches out to congratulate a friend during the ceremonies at the school on Sunday, while other members of the class of 2014 look on.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • The Mohawk Trail Regional School Class of 2014 toss their caps into the air to finish off graduation ceremonies on Sunday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Robbie Buoniconti, valedictorian of the Mohawk Trail Regional School Class of 2014, speaks to his classmates during graduation ceremonies at the school on Sunday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Mohawk Trail Regional School Superintendent Michael Buoniconti reminices about the Class of 2014 during graduation ceremonies at the school on Sunday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • A recent graduate of the Mohawk Trail Regional School reaches out to congratulate a friend during the ceremonies at the school on Sunday, while other members of the class of 2014 look on.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

SHELBURNE — The Mohawk Trail Regional School Class of 2014 gathered Sunday under hazy blue skies in the school athletic field for a send-off from family, peers and administrators who told them to listen, think for themselves and stay in touch.

Superintendent Michael Buoniconti addressed a graduating class that includes his son, valedictorian Robert Buoniconti.

“Perhaps like many of you in the stands, my wife Barbara and I are stunned that our child is about to graduate from high school. How did that happen?” Buoniconti said in a choking voice, going on to share memories of his son and others in the class as small children and young adults.

Buoniconti said he has come to know many in the class through his son, and was brimming with pride and joy at their graduation.

“Mohawk Class of 2014, it has been an absolute joy sharing life with you in this beautiful setting these past nine years. While we all know that you still have much to learn, we know that you are ready for what comes next,” the elder Buoniconti said.

Delivering the valedictorian’s address, Robert Buoniconti said he and his classmates have acquired the skills to succeed and think for themselves, and suggested that they neither run off to live with the grizzlies nor aspire to Great Gatsby-esque levels of excess.

“Do not forget those who love you ... there is no reason to drop off the map,” the younger Buoniconti said, adding that it is likely some won’t see each other again.

“Wish each other well and maintain this hill town value of community. I will miss all of you,” he said.

Guest speaker Elizabeth McGowan, a graduate of the Mohawk Class of 1979 and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, spoke of the importance of listening and charged students to think for themselves.

“Treat this piece of paper as a ticket that gives you the guts, the grit and the gumption to find your own way to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, no matter what you end up doing, where you end up doing it,” McGowan said.

McGowan and two InsideClimate News colleagues won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for their work on the oil pipeline industry.

Salutatorian Joshua Rode told his classmates everyone dies sooner or later and quoted from the Bible passage including the line “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

Rode said that this should be read as encouragement, urging his classmates to accept and learn from the ebbs and flows of life.

“It is the search for truth, self-love, acceptance and knowledge that makes life worth living. The golden years will come and they will go throughout the course of your life,” Rode said.

Scholarships

Doug Turner Memorial Scholarship: Robert Buoniconti, Tucker Jenkins, Lucas Looman, Joshua Rode.

MAA Samuel Howell Sylvester Scholarship: Kesheal Henderson, Lucas Looman, Joshua Rode.

William C. Pollard Memorial Scholarship: Ashley Pierce, Lucas Looman.

Clifford “Chuck” MacAdam Memorial Scholarship: Lucas Looman, Abigail Yezierski.

Robert Strong Woodward Scholarship: Heidi Phelps

The Shelburne Falls Kiwanis Club Stan Smithers Scholarship: Ashley Robertson.

The Shelburne Falls Kiwanis Club Memorial Scholarship : Joshua Rode.

The Shelburne Falls Kiwanis Club Allan Willis Memorial Scholarship: Sophie Staryos.

The Shelburne Falls Kiwanis Club Philip R. Joyce Scholarship: Thomas Damery.

Dennis Bushey Memorial Scholarship: Robert Buoniconti, Joshua Rode.

1st Annual Arms Academy Class of 1963 Scholarship: Lillian Boyd, Anna Flaxman.

Edgar Walter Martin II Memorial Scholarship: Joshua Rode, Drew Powell, Powell, Emma Taylor, Justin Shippee.

Robert Bruffee Memorial Athletic Scholarship: Jessica Dawicki, Lucas Looman.

Larry Rancourt Scholarships: Lucas Looman.

Dr. John B. and Lillian C. Temple Memorial Scholarship: Melissa Clark.

Earl L. Valiton Memorial Scholarship: Tess Burdick.

Keith G. Billiel Memorial Scholarship: Heidi Phelps.

Harold and Alyce Streeter Scholarship: Jessica Dawicki.

Franklin First Credit Union “Ari Brown-Weeks” Award : Alecia Carmody.

Franklin First Credit Union Scholarship: Lucas Looman, Abigail Yezierski.

UMaine Dean’s Scholarship for the Academic Year 2014-15: Emma Taylor

Greenfield Community College Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation Scholarship: Tucker Jenkins.

Greenfield Community College Franklin County Rotary Club Scholarship: Justin Shippee.

American Legion Auxiliary Franklin-Hampshire District 2, Past District Directors Scholarship: Ashley Robertson.

Arms Academy Fund Scholarship: Anna Flaxman, Emma Taylor, Tess Burdick, Alecia Carmody, Ashley Pierce, Sophie Staryos.

Ashfield Rod & Gun Club Natural Resource Scholarship: Rowan Jones.

Charles White Scholarship: Kaitlyn Bird, Jessica Dawicki, Lucas Looman.

Trustees of Sanderson Academy Scholarship: Sean Eckler, Donte Gardner, Rowen Jones, Elinor Kent, Matthew LaMontagne, Drew Powell and Ashley Robertson.

Buckland, Charlemont, Shelburne Police Department Scholarship: Tucker Jenkins, Eduardo Sanchez.

Buckland Shelburne Elementary PTO Scholarship: Alecia Carmody, Jessica Dawicki, Justin Shippee, Emma Taylor.

Colrain P.T.O. Scholarship: Lucas Looman, Jasmine O’Connell

Mohawk District Education Association Scholarship: Tucker Jenkins: Melissa Clark, Jessica Dawicki, Leroy Page, Joshua Rode.

Warren Davenport Memorial Scholarship: Jessica Dawicki.

Arms Academy Scholarship Fund Trust Scholarship: Alecia Carmody, Melissa Clark, Anna Flaxman, Elinor Kent, Lucas Looman, Joshua Rode, Emma Taylor, Abigail Yezierski, Kaitlyn Bird, Jessica Dawicki, Sean Eckler, Sophie Staryos, Angela Younger, Tucker Jenkins, Leroy Page, Heidi Phelps, Ashley Pierce, Justin Shippee.

Ruth and Alfred Carpenter Sr. Memorial Scholarship: Lucas Looman, Justin Shippee.

Maude Frances Children’s Fund Scholarship: Alecia Carmody, Anna Flaxman, Justin Shippee.

Charlemont Alumni: Melissa Clark, Abigail Yezierski.

Charlemont Lions Club: Abigail Yezierski, Angela Younger.

Woman’s Club of Charlemont, Hawley, Heath & Rowe: Leroy Page

Heath Ladies Aid Scholarship: Lillian Boyd, Kesheal Henderson, Tucker Jenkins, Lucas Obert, Joshua Rode, Abigail Yezierski.

Class of 1959 Scholarship: Lucas Looman.

Clifton L. McKnight Scholarship: Alecia Carmody.

Colrain Community Church: Lucas Looman.

Carl H. Nilman Scholarship: Kaitlyn Bird, Alecia Carmody, Melissa

Clark, Thomas Damery, Jessica Dawicki, Elinor Kent, Lucas Looman, Drew Powell, Ashley Robertson, Sophie Staryos, Emma Taylor, Abigail Yezierski, Angela Younger - $350: Tess Burdick, Sean Eckler, Anna Flaxman, Kesheal Henderson, Lucas Obert, Heidi Phelps, Joshua Rode, Tucker Jenkins, Rowan Jones, Leroy Page, Ashley Pierce, Justin Shippee.

Women of the Moose: Alecia Carmody, Jessica Dawicki.

Gerald Shippee Memorial: Lillian Boyd, Sean Eckler.

Mohawk Music Association Scholarships: Tyler Andrews, Tess Burdick, Ashley Robertson, Emma Taylor.

Shelburne Falls Woman’s Club: Alecia Carmody, Ashley Pierce, Joshua Rode, Emma Taylor.

Shelburne Falls Fraternal Order of Eagles Scholarship: Melissa Clark, Jessica Dawicki.

Greenfield Lodge of Elks A.R. Sandri, C.E. Ulrich, Whitman Russell Memorial Scholarship : Abigail Yezierski.

Big Y Scholarship for Academic Excellence - Thomas Aurigemma Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden Agricultural Society “Three County Fair” Scholarship: Puja Kranz-Howe.

Hillside Agricultural Society Scholarship: Melissa Clark.

Shelburne Falls Business Association Scholarship: Anna Flaxman.

Ashfield Citizen’s Scholarship and Community Fund “Fall Festival Fund”: Rowan Jones, Elinor Kent, Thomas Aurigemma, Drew Powell.

Ashfield Citizen’s Scholarship and Community Fund “Van Valkenburg Scholarship Fund”: Sean Eckler, Elinor Kent, Drew Powell.

Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship: Lillian Boyd, Alecia Carmody, Melissa Clark, Rowan Jones, Shelby Murley, Tyler Osman, Ashley Pierce, Drew Powell, Ashley Robertson, Joshua Rode, Sophie Staryos, Emma Taylor, Abigail Yezierski.

John and Abigail Adams Scholarship: Thomas Aurigemma, Lillian Boyd, Robert Buoniconti, Tess Burdick, Thomas Damery, Anna Flaxman, Kai Herzig, Lucas Looman, Lucas Obert, Tyler Osman, Ashley Pierce, Drew Powell, Ashley Robertson, Joshua Rode, Samuel Slowinski, Emma Taylor, Gabriel Woodhart, Abigail Yezierski, Angela Younger.

Wilcox-Ware Scholarship: Ashley Robertson, Anna Flaxman, Justin Shippee, Emma Taylor.

Permilia A. Butterfield Scholarship: Anna Flaxman

Graduates

Tyler Andrews, Thomas Aurigemma, Kaitlyn Bird, Lillian Boyd, Evan Bruffee, Mark Buck, Robert Buoniconti, Tess Burdick, Alecia Carmody, Rachael Chapline, Melissa Clark, Kendra Crockwell, Thomas Damery, JohnHenry Davenport, Justin Davila, Jessica Dawicki, Jacqueline Dearborn, Angel Donovan, Sean Eckler,

Anna Flaxman, Cheyenne Freyburgher, Donte Gardner, Nicolas Glassman, Kesheal Henderson, KaiQi Herzig, Joshua Hutchins, Samuel Hutchins, Tucker Jenkins, Javius Johnson, Rowan Jones, Elinor Kent, Puja Kranz-Howe, Matthew LaMontagne, Lucas Looman, Bryce MacLeod, Christine Mae Marcial, Joseph Marsh, Jordan McKnight, Javier Morales, Shelby Murley, Trisha Nawotny, Jasmine O’Connell, Lucas Obert, Tyler Osman, Molly Ovitt,

Leroy Page, Andrea Peterson, Heidi Phelps, Jacob Pieffer, Ashley Pierce, Drew Powell, Ashley Robertson, Joshua Rode, Eduardo Sanchez, Tyler Shearer, Justin Shippee, Samuel Slowinski, Ryan Spitzer, Tyler Spring, Sophie Staryos, Brian Sullivan, Emma Taylor, Tyler Tobin, Bobbie Tuthill, Billy Keith Whitaker, Amanda-Lee Williams, Gabriel Woodhart, Abigail Yezierski, Angela Younger.

congrats class of 2014

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