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Pioneer graduates are told to ‘never give up’

  • Pioneer Valley Regional School graduates line up before commencement on Friday night in Northfield.  Recorder/Paul Franz

    Pioneer Valley Regional School graduates line up before commencement on Friday night in Northfield. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

  • PVRS graduate Lukas Rathbun is ready to go Friday night.  Recorder/Paul Franz

    PVRS graduate Lukas Rathbun is ready to go Friday night. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

  • Students pass through an arch during the processional at Pioneer Valley Regional School graduation.  Recorder/Paul Franz

    Students pass through an arch during the processional at Pioneer Valley Regional School graduation. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

  • Pioneer Valley Regional School Salutatorian Christopher Gilbert and Valedictorian May Grzybowski share a laugh as they get ready to speak to their classmates during graduation. Recorder/Paul Franz

    Pioneer Valley Regional School Salutatorian Christopher Gilbert and Valedictorian May Grzybowski share a laugh as they get ready to speak to their classmates during graduation. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

  • Pioneer Valley Regional School graduates line up before commencement on Friday night in Northfield.  Recorder/Paul Franz
  • PVRS graduate Lukas Rathbun is ready to go Friday night.  Recorder/Paul Franz
  • Students pass through an arch during the processional at Pioneer Valley Regional School graduation.  Recorder/Paul Franz
  • Pioneer Valley Regional School Salutatorian Christopher Gilbert and Valedictorian May Grzybowski share a laugh as they get ready to speak to their classmates during graduation. Recorder/Paul Franz

NORTHFIELD — Inspiration can be contagious.

“I’ve been lucky that my dream could inspire you all to achieve your dreams,” former Pioneer Valley Regional School coach and teacher Thomas Gaffigan told the Class of 2014 at Friday’s graduation.

While he taught his pupils at Pioneer to reach for their goals, Gaffigan was studying to further his career as an educator. Gaffigan left Pioneer last year to become the associate principal of Greenfield High School.

“There were times that I wanted to give up,” he said. “What kept me going? You guys — that’s what.”

He told the students that they, too, may want to give up as they strive for their own dreams, but perseverance would see them through.

“You may even be forced, for good reason, to temporarily abandon your dream, but never give up,” he said. “I wanted to be a coach since elementary school and, while it took me until the age of 40, I never gave up.”

He left the Class of 2014 with some advice to lead full lives, quoting former North Carolina State University Coach Jim Valvano.

“There are three things you should do every day,” he said. “Laugh, spend time in thought and have your emotions moved to tears. If you can do that seven days a week, that’s something special.”

Graduates

Bethany Rae Ann Adams, Brian Antonio Aja, Emily Katherine Andrews, Sierra Annette Barton, Erin Lyn Bertrand, Nicole Alice Bitzer, Austin Christopher Blair, Ryan Charles Alexandre Blanker, Daniel Clifford Bordner, Alexander Jacob Bridges, Chantelle Jean Brigham McMillan, Paige Alyssa Brown, Emma Kyle Budine, Caroline Elizabeth Burden,

Patrick Bruce Capparrille, Cody James Celino, Ingrid Emma-Margaret Cromack-Macomber, Nicholas Tyler Dame-Stennes, Zachary Michael Derosia, Antonio Alfonso Dizenzo, Terence Lee Doiron II, Roger Pierre Doiron III, Alysha Marie Elie, Benjamin Robinson Embree,

Matthew Todd Faulkner, Ethan Barrett Finnell, Taylor Nicole Flaherty, Bethany Carol George, Christopher James Gilbert, Nathan William Godard, May Emily Grzybowski, Eliza Rose Henderson, Samuel James Hoisington, Daniel Andrew Horvath, Aaron James Huber, Chianne Paige Hubert, Abigail Stratford Johnson,

Jeremiah Sheehan Kemble-Lund, Blake Edward Kimball, Devin John Knechtel, Evan Joseph LaCoy, Jennie Elizabeth Lake, Sydney Erica Martin, Sarah Emily Matherson, Liam O’Reilly McRae, Paula Ashley Merkle, Emma Laurene Mielke, Katelyn Elizabeth Momaney, Tara Frances O’Neil,

Anders Lowry Paulson, Trevor Daniel Peduzzi, Jocelyn Marie Peters, Alyssa Lynne Phillips, Addie Rochelle Ramsdell, Lukas Philip Rathbun, Trevor Dominic Rich, Lennon James Robichaud, Alexander Wolf Rogers, Adrienne Rose Ross,

Darion Theodore Sadri, Michael Richard Shearer, Shelby Madison Sheridan, Troy Aaron Shippa, Justin Darryl Smart, Savannah Elizabeth Sojka, Brittany Marie Thurber

Emily Jane Walker, Shannon Mackenzie Watson, Carissa Lee Weeks, James Deming Wheeler III, Mary Ellen White, Cody Everett Wickline, Chelsea Mae Woods.

Awards and Scholarships

Bethany Adams: Dead River Company Scholarship; Northfield Fire Dept. Floyd M. Dunnell Jr. Memorial Scholarship; Pioneer Valley Regional School Scholarship.

Brian Aja: Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; Outstanding Achievement Advanced Chemistry; Excellence in Engineering Design; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery; Outstanding Achievement in Spanish 5; Outstanding Service to Peer Mediation; Bernardston Kiwanis Club Scholarship.

Emily Andrews: Entergy Community Power Scholarship; Vermont Honor Scholarship Program; Excellence in French 5; Silver “P” Award for National Honor Society; Excellence in Personal Money Management.

Sierra Barton: Bernardston Kiwanis Club Scholarship; Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation Scholarship; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship.

Erin Bertrand: Leonard Bruno Memorial Scholarship.

Nicole Bitzer: Alice, Eric & Oscar Anderson Scholarship; Thomas J. Hurley Nurses’ Scholarship; PVRS National Honor Society Scholarship; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; Lucy Wilder Memorial Humanitarian Award; Excellence in Introduction to Nutrition; Silver “P” Award for National Honor Society; Excellence in Personal Money Management; Outstanding Achievement in Statistics; Outstanding Service to Peer Mediation.

Ryan Blanker: Pioneer Valley Kennel Club; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship.

Daniel Bordner: Fortnightly Scholarship; Grover/Barnes Memorial Award; Ethel F. Jackson Memorial Scholarship; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship.

Chantelle Brigham McMillan: Massachusetts Elks Scholarship; Northfield Kiwanis Club F. Sumner Turner Scholarship; Jessica L. Sweeney Memorial Award; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; Excellence in AP English Literature and Composition; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery; Silver “P” Award for National Honor Society.

Emma Budine: Erving PTO Scholarship; Pioneer Valley Regional School Scholarship; Fred R. Whitcomb Scholarship; John & Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery.

Caroline Burden: Kevin J. Courtney Scholarship; Mary Valley Forrest Memorial Music & Art Scholarship; Foundation for Educational Excellence Richard Martin Theatre Award; PVRS Young Musician Award; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; Excellence in Art; Outstanding Achievement in Music in Chorus; Excellence in English 12; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery; Silver “P “Award for National Honor Society; Excellence in Statistics; Outstanding Service to Western Mass. Student Advisory Council.

Patrick Capparrille: Alfred Orlens Citizenship Award; Excellence in Art

Cody Celino: Excellence in Music in Band; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery; Bernardston Kiwanis Club Scholarship.

Ingrid Cromack-Macomber: Owen Clarke Foundation Scholarship; Foundation for Educational Excellence Robert S. Coy Art Award; Excellence in Art.

Nicholas Dame-Stennes: Evelyn G. Lawley Award.

Antonio Dizenzo: Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship.

Terence Doiron: Jason Peters Memorial Scholarship.

Alysha Elie: John A. Hogan Memorial Scholarship of the Pioneer Valley Regional Education Association; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery.

Ethan Finnell: Bernardston Veterans’ Organization Scholarship; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; Excellence in AP English Literature and Composition; John & Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery; Excellence in Spanish 5.

Taylor Flaherty: Erving Teachers’ Association Scholarship; Rotary Club of Franklin County Scholarship; Excellence in Child Development.

Bethany George: Pioneer Valley Regional School Scholarship; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; Outstanding Achievement in Functions.

Christopher Gilbert: Salutatorian; Leonard Eastman Award; Fortnightly Scholarship; Ned Green Scholarship; Thaddeus M. Ostrowski Memorial Award; Tyler Family Memorial Award; University of Maine Presidential Scholarship; George A. Warner Award; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; Excellence in AP Calculus; Excellence in Genetics; Excellence in Global Science; Highest Academic Achievement in Spanish; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery; Silver “P” Award for National Honor Society; McDonald’s McScholar Athlete Award.

Nathan Godard: Abigail Stratton Award; Abigail Stratton Scholarship; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; Excellence in AP English Literature and Composition.

May Grzybowski: Valedictorian; Erving PTO Scholarship; Foundation for Educational Excellence & The Greenfield Co-operative Bank Scholarship; French Club Scholarship; Pioneer Valley Regional School Scholarship; Outstanding Achievement AP English Literature and Composition; Excellence in Music in Band; Outstanding Achievement in French 5; Excellence in Global Science; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery; Silver “P” Award for National Honor Society.

Eliza Henderson: Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; Outstanding Achievement in Bioethics; Most Improved in Chorus; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery; Outstanding Service to Peer Mediation.

Samuel Hoisington: Pioneer Valley Regional School Instrumental Music Award; Principal’s Award; Abigail Stratton Award; Outstanding Achievement in Music in Band; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery; Outstanding Service to Western Mass. Student Advisory Council.

Daniel Horvath: Owen Clarke Foundation Scholarship; Fortnightly Scholarship; Ladies Auxiliary of Veterans of Foreign Wars Scholarship; Northfield Kiwanis Club Walter F. Asseng Memorial Scholarship; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; Outstanding Service to Guidance; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery; Silver “P” Award for National Honor Society.

Chianne Hubert: Pioneer Valley Regional School Scholarship; Excellence in Advanced Nutrition; Excellence in Yearbook.

Abigail Johnson: Owen Clarke Foundation Scholarship.

Jeremiah Kemble-Lund: Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship.

Devin Knechtel: Most Improved in Functions.

Evan LaCoy: Dead River Company Scholarship; George A. Warner Fund Scholarship; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery.

Jennie Lake: Excellence in Yearbook; Owen Clarke Foundation Scholarship; Theodore Cronyn Award.

Sydney Martin: Army Reserve National Scholar Athlete Award; Jefferson P. Davis Memorial Scholarship; Makenzie Goode Memorial Athletic Scholarship; Northfield Fire Dept. Floyd M. Dunnell Jr. Memorial Scholarship; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; Silver “P” Award for National Honor Society; Excellence in Spanish 3; Outstanding Service to Peer Mediation.

Sarah Matherson: Kathryn Bassett Memorial Award; Pioneer Valley Regional School Scholarship; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery; Silver “P” Award for National Honor Society; Outstanding Achievement in Personal Money Management.

Liam McRae: Anita L. Pike Memorial Scholarship; Warwick Community Scholarship; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery.

Paula Merkle: Pioneer Valley Regional School Scholarship; Excellence in Art

Emma Mielke: Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship.

Katelyn Momaney: Excellence in Independent Study in Intercultural Foods.

Tara O’Neil: Andrew R. St. Hilaire Memorial Scholarship; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship.

Anders Paulson: Pearl B. Allen Memorial Scholarship; Ethel F. Jackson Memorial Scholarship; PVRS Student Council Scholarship; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery; Outstanding Service to Peer Mediation.

Trevor Peduzzi: John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery.

Alyssa Phillips: Owen Clarke Foundation Award.

Lennon Robichaud: William F. Casey Scholarship; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery.

Alexander Rogers: Excellence in Engineering Drawing; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery; Pioneer Valley Regional School Scholarship; Abigail Stratton Award.

Adrienne Ross: Owen Clarke Foundation Scholarship; Thomas J. Hurley Nurses’ Scholarship.

Darion Sadri: Jefferson P. Davis Memorial Scholarship; Principal’s Most Improved Award; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship.

Michael Shearer: Abigail Stratton Award.

Shelby Sheridan: Pioneer Valley Regional School Scholarship.

Troy Shippa: Army Reserve National Scholar Athlete Award; Gerald & Edward McGowan Memorial Award; Excellence in Advanced Nutrition; Excellence in English 12; Excellence in Life Skills; Outstanding Service to Peer Mediation.

Justin Smart: Excellence in Personal Money Management.

Savannah Sojka: Stephen F. Balk Award; Dean Beaudoin Memorial Scholarship; Tommy Newton Community Spirit Award; Sharon Schena Volleyball Scholarship; University of Maine Black Bear Scholarship; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; Outstanding Service to PVRS Gay Straight Alliance; McDonald’s McScholar Athlete Award

Emily Walker: Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; Excellence in Art.

Shannon Watson: Pioneer Valley Regional School Scholarship; Excellence in Art; John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for MCAS-ELA and Math Mastery.

Carissa Weeks: Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; Excellence in Yearbook.

James Wheeler III: Franklin First Federal Credit Union; Northfield Kiwanis Club Jonathan (Jake) Mayberry Scholarship; Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship; Silver “P” Award for National Honor Society.

Chelsea Woods: Excellence in Music in Chorus.

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