Mohawk: Embrace differences, create community — and listen

  • Leif Miraglia of the Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016, shakes Superintendent Michael Buoniconti's hand after receiving his diploma at the commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Cameron Olanyk, of the Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016, shakes Superintendent Michael Buoniconti's hand after receiving his diploma at the commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • The Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016 seated for their commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Eli Wickland Shearer, of the Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016, embraces Superintendent Michael Buoniconti after receiving his diploma at the commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Hope Lively, of the Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016, shakes Superintendent Michael Buoniconti's hand after receiving her diploma at the commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Alexis Boron-Smith, of the Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016 and the rest of her class, applaud Samuel Rode, the class Valedictorian, after his speech at their commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • The Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016 seated for their commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Adam Hinds, of the Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 1994, and the commencement speaker for the Class of 2016, delivers his address Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Samuel Rode, the Mohawk Trail Regional High School Valedictorian, delivers his commencement speech Sunday. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • The Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016 throw their caps in the air at the end of their commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Alexis Boron-Smith, the Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016 Salutatorian, looks over her speech before delivering it at their commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Michael Buoniconti, the Mohawk Trail Regional School District Superintendent, delivers congratulatory remarks at the commencement for the Class of 2016 Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • The Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016 moves their tassels from the right to left sides of their caps at the end of their commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • The Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016 seated for their commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • The Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016 enters the gymnasium for their commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Alexis Boron-Smith, the Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016 Salutatorian, delivers her speech at their commencement Sunday. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • The Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016 circles the gymnasium before taking their seats for their commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • The Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016 circles the gymnasium before taking their seats for their commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Citrus and the Fruitbowl, a student a cappella group, sings "Parting Glass," a traditional Irish song, at the Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016 commencement Sunday. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Members of the Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016 pose for cell phone photos before their commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • The Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016 seated for their commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • A student band performs a cover of the Modest Mouse song, "Float On" during the Mohawk Trail Regional High School Class of 2016 commencement Sunday, June 5. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

Recorder Staff
Published: 6/5/2016 10:04:58 PM

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BUCKLAND — Family and friends congregated in the Mohawk Trail Regional High School gym to watch the graduating class walk across the stage on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Principal Lynn Dole gave an opening speech to encourage the graduates to remember their time in high school and maintain the connections they’ve made with fellow classmates as they move on to the next chapter of life.

“On this day we can pause and reflect on what we shared together,” Dole said, praising the seniors and urging them to make the most of future opportunities. “Class of 2016, we are proud of you and we wish you the very best.”

Candidate for Massachusetts State Senate Adam Hinds came to the podium to give the commencement speech. He told students that he made the leap from a graduate of Mohawk Trail Regional High School to working in the Middle East as a negotiator for the United Nations.

Hinds told the students that they are fortunate to have gone to Mohawk Trail Regional High School and to have received the same support that he did as a student. “This is a community that gets behind its youth,” he said. “This school means so much to me.”

He finished his speech with a few words of advice for the graduates, telling them to embrace differences, create community and listen deeply.

Superintendent Michael Buoniconti also addressed the crowd and congratulated the seniors. He told the graduates that despite the challenges of modern life, there is still hope to reach for the “American dream.”

“It really has been wonderful watching you grow up,” he said. “Mohawk Class of 2016, you have every reason to be hopeful for your future.”

Valedictorian Samuel Rode and salutatorian Alexis Boron-Smith each gave a speech saying goodbye to their classmates and wishing them well in the future. “My fellow graduates, I hope you hit the ground running,” said Boron-Smith.

Whistles and cheers came from the audience as each student walked to receive their diploma from chairperson of the Mohawk Trail Regional School District School Committee, Lark Thwing.

Scholarships

Doug Turner Memorial Scholarship — $500: Madison Boucias, Taylor McCloud, Samuel Rode, Kelsey Scranton.

MAA Samuel Howell Sylvester Scholarship - $500: Madison Boucias, Daniel Burke.

William C. Pollard Memorial Scholarship - $250: Charles Seaver, Sally Slowinski.

Clifford “Chuck” MacAdam Memorial Scholarship - $500: Hope Lively, Charles Seaver.

Friends of Robert Strong Woodward Inc. Award - $250: Charles Seaver.

The Shelburne Falls Kiwanis Club Stan Smithers Scholarship - $500: Catherine Kudlay.

The Shelburne Falls Kiwanis Club Memorial Scholarship - $500: Samuel Rode.

The Shelburne Falls Kiwanis Club Allan Willis Memorial Scholarship - $500: Kelsey Scranton.

The Shelburne Falls Kiwanis Club Philip R. Joyce Scholarship - $500: Juliette Shean.

The Shelburne Falls Kiwanis Key Club Scholarship - $500: Emma Guyette.

The Shelburne Falls Kiwanis Rolland Gifford Memorial - $500: Taylor McCloud.

Dennis Bushey Memorial Scholarship - $500: Madison Boucias.

Edgar Walter Martin, II Memorial Scholarship - $1000: Alexander Purington.

Robert Bruffee Athletic Memorial Scholarship - $500: Laurel Derose, Samuel Rode.

Larry Rancourt Scholarship - $1000: Samuel Rode.

Dr. John B. and Lillian C. Temple Memorial Scholarship - $2000: Heather Greene.

Keith G. Billiel Memorial Scholarship - $250: Joshua Paige.

Harold and Alyce Streeter Scholarship - $500: Kristen Cote.

Greenfield Community College Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation Scholarship – $1000: Kelsey Scranton.

Greenfield Community College/Rotary Club of Franklin County Scholarship – $1000: Hannah Kelleher.

Trustees of Arms Academy - $2750: Zachary Arfa, Alexis Boron-Smith, Taylor McCloud; $2250: Emma Guyette; $2000: Heather Greene, Juliette Shean, Justin Ward.

Ashfield Rod and Gun Club Natural Resource Scholarship - $500: Camron Olanyk.

Charles White Scholarship - $600: Taylor Brown, Janelle O’Connell.

Trustees of Sanderson Academy Scholarship - $500: Amar Abbatiello, Erin Townsley.

Buckland, Charlemont, Shelburne Police Department Scholarship - $500: Samantha Cairns; $250: Colton Yezierski.

Buckland Shelburne Elementary PTO Scholarship - $250: Madison Boucias, Emma Guyette.

Colrain P.T.O. Scholarship - $500: Alexander Purington, Kelsey Scranton.

Mohawk District Education Association Scholarship - $200: Hope Lively, Janelle O’Connell, Alexander Purington, Elijah Wickland Shearer; $150: Brianna Benz, Erin Crosby; $100: Erin Townsley.

Mohawk District Education Association/Warren Davenport Memorial Scholarship - $100: Erin Townsley.

Arms Academy Scholarship Fund Trust Scholarship - $1200: Zachary Arfa, Daniel Burke, Emma Guyette, Sequoia LeBreux, Alexander Purington, Samuel Rode, Justin Ward; $700: Madison Boucias, Erin Crosby, Heather Greene, Lindsey Kugler, Kayla Kurland-Davis, Taylor McCloud, Janelle O’Connell, Madison Roccio, Kelsey Scranton; $500: Megan Grant.

Ruth and Alfred Carpenter Sr. Memorial Scholarship - $500: Amar Abbatiello, Alexander Purington.

Maude Frances Children’s Fund Scholarship - $3000: Zachary Arfa, Taylor McCloud; $1200: Megan Grant.

Charlemont Alumni - $500: Lindsey Kugler.

Charlemont Lions Club - $500: Daniel Burke.

Heath Ladies Aid Scholarship - $200: Julian Diamond, Hope Lively, Edward Muenkel, Samuel Rode, Colton Yezierski.

Class of 1959 Scholarship - $200: Kelsey Scranton.

Colrain Community Church - $150: Elijah Wickland Shear - $100: Kayla Kurland-Davis, Nicholas Konz (Four Rivers Charter School), Alexander Purington, Kelsey Scranton.

Carl H. Nilman Scholarship - $500: Amar Abbatiello, Daniel Burke, Emma Guyette, Kayla Kurland-Davis, Jannelle O’Connell, Alexander Purington, Madison Roccio, Samuel Rode, Kelsey Scranton, Charles Seaver, Juliette Shean, Sally Slowinski, Justin Ward; $350: Madison Boucias, Megan Grant, Heather Greene, Hope Lively, Taylor McCloud, Edward Muenkel, Aaron Nelson, Isaac Paige, Erin Townsley, Elijah Wickland Shearer.

Women of the Moose - $100: Laurel Derose, Brianna Willis.

Gerald Shippee Memorial - $300: Justin Ward.

Mohawk Music Association Scholarships - $500: Amar Abbatiello, Zachary Arfa, Kylee Cole, Erin Crosby, Catherine Kudlay.

Shelburne Falls Women’s Club - $500: Alexis Boron-Smith, Madison Boucias, Emma Guyette, Samuel Rode; $200: Megan Grant, Kelsey Scranton.

Shelburne Falls Fraternal Order of Eagles Scholarship - $1000: Samantha Cairns, Taylor McCloud, Justin Ward.

Greenfield Lodge of Elks A.R. Sandri, C.E. Ulrich, Whitman Russell Memorial Scholarship – $1000: Laurel Derose.

Big Y Scholarship for Academic Excellence – Samuel Rode.

Shelburne Falls Business Association Scholarship - $500: Emma Guyette, Samuel Rode.

Ashfield Citizen’s Scholarship and Community Fund “Fall Festival Fund” -

$1500: Amar Abbatiello, Erin Townsley; $1000: Camron Olanyk; $500: Kayla Baus.

Ashfield Citizen’s Scholarship and Community Fund “Van Valkenburg Scholarship Fund”- $1000 each: Amar Abbatiello, Kayla Baus, Aaron Nelson, Camron Olanyk, Erin Townsley.

Fred W. Wells Fund Scholarship – Amar Abbatiello, Zachary Arfa, Kayla Baus, Madison Boucias, Daniel Burke, Samantha Cairns, Kylee Cole, Kristen Cote, Erin Crosby, Jacob Cross, Laurel Derose, Meagan Grant, Heather Greene, Emma Guyette, Lindsey Kugler, Hope Lively, Taylor McCloud, Camron Olanyk, Madison Roccio, Samuel Rode, Charles Seaver, Juliette Shean, Erin Townsley, Justin Ward, Colton Yezierski.

John and Abigail Adams Scholarship – Amar Abbatiello, Zachary Arfa, Alexis Boron-Smith, Taylor Brown, Kristen Cote, Heather Greene, Jackson Guin, Emma Guyette, Aaron Joslin-Wangdu, Hope Lively, Sarah Malone, Taylor McCloud, Edward Muenkel, Aaron Nelson, Denis O’Dea, Camron Olanyk, Alexander Purington, Samuel Rode, Juliette Shean, Sally Slowinski, Erin Townsley, Justin Ward, Elijah Wickland Shearer.

Community Foundations of Western Massachusetts/Wilcox-Ware Scholarship- $3000: Amar Abbatiello, Laurel Derose, Jannelle O’Connell, Alexander Purington, Samuel Rode, Sally Slowinski.

Cowell Fund Award - $400: Elijah Wickland Shearer.

Helen E. Long Memorial - $2000: Camron Olanyk.

Shelburne Falls Military Band Scholarship - $200: Zachary Arfa.

Linda Neil Memorial Scholarship for Journalism - $250: Taylor McCloud.

Linda Neil Memorial Scholarship for Music: $250: Joshua Paige.

Plainfield Congregational Church Fund Scholarship – James Harding, Denis O’Dea.

Father Robert Wagner - $1000: Erin Crosby.

D.A.R. Good Citizens Award - $100: Taylor McCloud.

The Deane Jones Memorial Award/Trinity Church in Shelburne Falls - $1000: Sally Slowinski.

Pratt Prize - $325: Zachary Arfa, Taylor McCloud.

Elks Legacy Award - $4000: Laurel Derose.

Elks Most Valuable Scholar - $800: Laurel Derose.

REAM/Ethel Raymond Orcutt - $1000: Samuel Rode.

Kelly M. Broughan Memorial Scholarship - $175: Kelsey Grover.

Phillip C. Toy Memorial Scholarship Fund - $250: Samuel Rode.

Greenfield Permanent Firefighters Local 2548 - $400: Juliette Shean.

Hillside Agricultural Society - $500: Samuel Rode.

Jeffrey Mason Memorial Award - $500: Erin Townsley.

Clifton L. McKnight Scholarship Fund - $300: Emma Guyette.

Graduates

Amar P. Abbatiello, Zachary Arfa, Jordan D. Avery, Kayla A. Baus, Briana Ariel Benz, Alexis Boron-Smith, Madison Boucias, Kyle A. Brooks, Skyler Brown, Taylor Brown, Daniel Burke, Samantha N. Cairns, Kylee S. Cole, Kristen Brianna Cote, Erin N. Crosby, Killian J. Crosby, Jacob Michael Cross, Laurel May Derose, Julian Diamond, Zachary P. Doyle, Bruce DuPree, Levin DuPree, Cyril Farrar, Timothy Glover, David B. Gokey, Megan E. Grant, Heather E. Greene,

Kelsey M. Grover, Jackson Guin, Emma R. Guyette, Carlee A. Hallenbeck, James Shane Harding, Cheyenna Marie Johnson, Aaron Joslin-Wangdu, Hannah R. Kelleher, Catherine D. Kudlay, Lindsey K. Kugler, Kayla Kurland-Davis, Spencer Laffond, Sequoia Rae LeBreux, Hope A. Lively,

Taylor Rose Martin, Taylor Douglas McCloud, Leif B. Miraglia, Edward C. Muenkel, Aaron S. Nelson, Hunter Nicholas Nye, Jannelle O’Connell, Denis P. O’Dea, Camron Thomas Olanyk, Isaac Jude Paige, Joshua M. Paige, Austin M. Porrovecchio, Alexander J. Purington, Madison E. Roccio, Samuel R. Rode, Keon Antonio Rosario, David E. Rose, D’Angelo Lion Sauceda, Kelsey Tyler Scranton, Charles Seaver, Juliette M. Shean, Sally Anna Slowinski, Samuel C. Smithers, Brigit M. Taylor, Norah May Tower, Erin Laura Townsley, Stephen W. Von Haugg, Justin Ward, Elijah T. Wickland Shearer, Brianna M. Willis, Colton G. Yezierski.


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