‘Prepared for anything,’ Franklin Tech seniors bid school farewell

  • Graduates of the Automotive Technology program line up 6 feet apart at Franklin County Technical School’s Class of 2020 commencement ceremony on Friday afternoon at the school. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Salutatorian Benjamin Bardwell speaks at Franklin County Technical School’s Class of 2020 commencement ceremony on Friday afternoon at the school. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Salutatorian Benjamin Bardwell speaks at Franklin County Technical School’s Class of 2020 commencement ceremony on Friday afternoon at the school. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • A graduate picks up her diploma from a table on stage at Franklin County Technical School’s Class of 2020 commencement ceremony on Friday afternoon at the school. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Superintendent Richard Martin addresses those gathered in vehicles at Franklin County Technical School’s Class of 2020 commencement ceremony on Friday afternoon at the school. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • The American flag flies between Turners Falls and Greenfield’s fire trucks as vehicles full of graduates and their families line up at Franklin County Technical School’s Class of 2020 commencement ceremony on Friday afternoon at the school. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Graduates drive out under the American flag at Franklin County Technical School’s Class of 2020 commencement ceremony on Friday afternoon at the school. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Families and graduates listen in their vehicles at Franklin County Technical School’s Class of 2020 commencement ceremony on Friday afternoon at the school. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 6/5/2020 8:36:39 PM

MONTAGUE — The graduating class of Franklin County Technical School processed onto the field on Friday and found their places in front of the stage — just as they would have during any other year.

Only this year, students processed onto the field from the comfort of their air-conditioned vehicles and remained inside them until it was time to pick up their diplomas.

“We didn’t see this coming,” said Principal Brian Spadafino. “I know it’s different than we pictured, sharing this moment with family sitting next to you and shopmates parked beside you.”

When students and their guests arrived to the campus on Friday afternoon, temperatures were checked and vehicles were directed to parking areas organized by shop class.

When the ceremony began, the vehicles processed from their original parking spots to the field outside the school, where they lined up in rows facing the stage. Graduates and their guests remained in their vehicles until students — grouped by shop class — were called up to the stage to receive their diplomas.

After receiving their diplomas, students were instructed to return to their vehicles so each shop class could exit the field in a procession similar to the one they arrived in.

Officials said the modified arrangement was considered the best way to maintain as much of the traditional graduation ceremony as possible, while accounting for the social distancing necessities of the COVID-19 crisis.

School Committee Chair Richard Kuklewicz called it “the most closely choreographed graduation” he had ever seen.

In his opening remarks, Spadafino noted the students’ final school year likely didn’t go as they’d imagined.

“When we started the school year, I’m sure you dreamed your school year would be epic, filled with celebrations, prom, awards, gatherings of more than 10 while not wearing a mask, and a traditional graduation ceremony,” Spadafino said. “And then everything changed.”

COVID-19 took its hold and school was closed. Education, however, continued remotely.

“Class of 2020, you’ve met your graduation requirements in the most unimaginable way — at home, thorough distance learning,” Spadafino said.

Superintendent Richard Martin told graduates they had experienced a number of “firsts” for the school. They were the first not to have final exams, he noted, and the first to celebrate commencement from inside their vehicles.

“You are the first and only graduating class in the history of Franklin County Tech to have the option of attending a graduation ceremony in air conditioning,” he said.

Salutatorian Benjamin Bardwell thanked his teachers and congratulated his peers, noting the challenges and triumphs they’ve faced along the way.

“Class of 2020, we’ve made it,” he said. “Even though it’s not everything we expected when thinking of graduation the last year, the events that have happened in our lives have made us stronger … and prepared us for anything that could come our way.”


**National Honor Society

Italics: Dual enrollment students

Valedictorian: Jonathan Andrew Tan

Salutatorian: Benjamin Edward Bardwell

Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing: Benjamin Riley Blais of Whately; Felicity Rachelle Coffin of Greenfield; Aiyana Mae Drouin of Montague; Cameron David Fisher of Montague; Travis Michael Murphy of Orange; Kathryn Rose Paul of Orange; Anthony James Russell of Wendell; Kyle Snyder of Montague; Jenna Marie Thebeau of Orange; Jared Daniel Vielmetti-Perusse of Deerfield.

Automotive Technology: Gabriel Mark Bird of Heath; Joshua David Blais of Whately; Kevin Thomas Clarke of Greenfield; Tyler Alan DeAngelis of Leyden; Camden Jacque Grybko of Northfield; Hunter Adams Hillock of Greenfield; Max William Leh of Montague; Luke Joseph Mayrand of Montague; Cheyenne Rose Mikalunas of Greenfield; Colin Michael Pettis of Deerfield; Shawn Daniel Patrick Telega of Deerfield; Jordan Scott Vescovi of Orange.

Carpentry: Jordan Scott DiGeorge of Bernardston; Colby Edward Harris of Greenfield; Joshua Peter Kirley of Warwick; Ida Cathleen Marie LaFortune of Greenfield; Dylan Mallet of Warwick; Brendan Qualters of Orange.

Cosmetology: Joelle Meredith Baranoski of Greenfield; Clairese Marie Bourdeau of Greenfield; Emily Ann Brownlee of Erving; **Jordan Bailey Hurlbert of Warwick; Tori Taylor Lee Profit of Greenfield; Timothy Steven Rice of Bernardston.

Culinary Arts: Jesse Pilon Archambault of Deerfield; **Benjamin Edward Bardwell of Whately; Jayla Elizabeth Boisvert of Winchendon; Vincent James Buccaroni of Orange; **Shelby Lynne Cutting of Greenfield; Mekhai Ariso Felton of Bernardston; Molly Elizabeth Hall of Orange; Cassidy Leuthner of Greenfield; Cordell Robert Rider of Greenfield; Jordan Michael Ames Smith of Greenfield; Joseph Alan Vieu of Orange.

Electrical: Garret Michael Cole of Warwick; Alexzander Anthony Cortright of Orange; Ethan Robert Courchesne of Gill; Tyler Gregory Hunter of Northfield; Jordyn Alexander Lavallee of Whately; Justin Robert Littlewood of Orange; Michael Patrick McGoldrick Jr. of Leyden; Peter Saladino of Jacksonville, Vt.; Joel Hunter Smiaroski of Conway; Nathan Daniel Uzdavinis of Whately; **Hunter Matthew Wozniak of Heath.

Health Technology: Morgan Sue Bowling of Charlemont; Sierra Marie Conversano of Buckland; **Breaunna Cathleen Garey of Colrain; Hailey Lyn Jackson of Erving; Jon-Curtis McDermott of Greenfield; **Stephanie Ann Pearson of Montague; **Mia Aisha Scott of Orange; **Alyah Marie Sutton of Montague; Bianca Rose Tinkham of Greenfield.

Landscaping & Horticulture: Isabelle Jane Duga of New Salem; Jacob Gadwah-Alonso of Orange; Casey Leduc of Northfield; Christene Skylar Praetz of Colrain; Kelsey Layne Winship of Northfield; Cameron Michael Wood of Charlemont.

Machine Technology: David Matthew Bickford of Deerfield; **Brody Alan Church of Greenfield; **Jocelyn Nicole Crowningshield of Rowe; Ian Lamont McClure of Greenfield; Tucker George Millane of Montague; Blade Allen Miller of Ashfield; Jacob Aaron Shaw of Shelburne; Jordan Carlo Smith of Northfield.

Plumbing & Heating: Dominic James Bowden-Smith of Montague; Kyle Andrew Brunelle of Montague; Alden Chase Courtemanche of Montague; Cole Glenn LaClaire of Leverett; Colby Alan Mailloux of Erving; Devin Michael O’Sullivan of Greenfield; Kayani Makito Rodriguez of Erving; Donté Ryan Rosewarne of Erving; Cody Raymond Sluder of Orange; Aidan Scott Jacob Smith of Montague; Lucas Darrin Upham of Erving; Bailey Alexander Young of Montague.

Programming & Web Development: Jacob Tyler Boston of Northfield; Ian Francis Brown of Greenfield; Aaron Joseph Care of Montague; Cole Ryan Facey of Wendell; **Cooper Alleyne Gilkes of Greenfield; **Autum Adele King of Bernardston; Logan Aidan Kreger of Huntington; Christopher George Gamlin LaCoy of Bernardston; Lena Lee Lanoue of Ashfield; Jonathan Andrew Tan of Amherst; Eve Marie Towne of Bernardston.

Welding & Metal Fabrication: **Andria Melody Ames of Montague; Matthew Ryan Colby of Colrain; Aspen Jayce Keel of Greenfield; Jacob Michael-William Kozma of Northfield; Olivia Nichole Romanovicz of Conway; Lucas David Shea of Montague; Austin Louis Tuttle of Montague.

Senior Awards

Music: Most Creative in Music — Joseph Vieu; Most Musical — Andria Ames; Drumline Acknowledgement — Mekhai Felton.

Spanish: Excellence in Spanish — Alyah Sutton; Most Creative Student in Spanish — Vincent Buccaroni.

Physical Education: Physical Education Most Improved — Joelle Baranoski, Tyler DeAngelis; Physical Education Award — Jocelyn Crowningshield, Dylan Mallet.

English Department: Achievement Award — Mekhai Felton, Jonathan Tan; English Language Arts Award of Merit — Jesse Archambault; Perseverance Award — Jordan Vescovi; Most Improved Award — Kyle Snyder.

History and Social Studies Department: Excellence in History and Social Studies — Andria Ames; Perseverance in History and Social Studies — Casey Leduc; Friends of Liberty Award — Alyah Sutton.

Math Department: Most Improved in Math — David Bickford, Luke Mayrand; Excellence in Math — Joel Smiaroski, Jonathan Tan; Perseverance in Math — Christene Praetz, Alyah Sutton; Math Award of Merit — Casey Leduc; Excellence in Problem Solving with Robotics — Ian Brown.

Science Department: Excellence in Biology — Breaunna Garey; Excellence in Physics — Josh Blais; Excellence in Engineering — Jonathan Tan; Excellence in Chemistry — Joel Smiaroski; Perseverance in Science — Emily Brownlee.

Pre-Employment Program: FCTS Intern Award — Mia Scott; Outstanding Effort Award — Cordell Rider; Achievement Award — Jacob Gadwah-Alonso.

Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing: Instructors Award — Benjamin Blais; Doug’s Auto Body Award — Cameron Fisher; Kemperle Auto Paint/Body Award — Jared Vielmetti-Perusse; Dillon Chevrolet Most Improved Award — Kyle Snyder; Sanel NAPA Auto Parts Award — Kathryn Paul; Keystone Auto Body Award — Jenna Thebeau; Bob Allen Snap-On Tool Award — Anthony Russell; North Amherst Motors Award — Aiyana Drouin; Shop Safety Award — Travis Murphy; Nortin Body Supply Award — Felicity Coffin.

Automotive Technology: Instructors Award for Shop Safety — Luke Mayrand; Bob Allen Snap-On Tools Award for High Achieving Student — Hunter Hillock; AutoZone Award for High Achievement — Tyler DeAngelis; Accurate Automotive Award for Excellence — Jordan Vescovi; Accurate Automotive Award for High Achieving Student — Kevin Clarke.

Carpentry: Lou Kozloski Memorial Award Sponsored by Cowls Building Supply — Jordan DiGeorge; Perseverance in Carpentry — Colby Harris; Significant Growth in Carpentry Award — Dylan Mallet; Construction Safety and Growth in the Field of Carpentry — Brendan Qualters; Most Improved in Carpentry — Joshua Kirley.

Computer Aided Design: CAD/CAM Technologies Excellence Award — Brody Church — Machine Technology; CAD/CAM Growth Award — Olivia Romanovicz.

Cosmetology: Cosmetology Achievement Award — Emily Brownlee; Customer Service & Professionalism Award — Tori Profit; Licensed Cosmetologist Award — Jordan Hurlbert; Most Artistic and Creative — Clairese Bourdeau; Most Improved — Timothy Rice; Receptionist Award — Joelle Baranoski.

Culinary Arts: Most Improved in Culinary Arts — Jayla Boisvert, Jordan Michael Ames Smith; Culinary Arts Safety Award — Jesse Archambault; Culinary Arts Excellence Award — Vincent Buccaroni; Hospitality Award — Mekhai Felton; Excellence in Baking and Outstanding Performance in Dual Enrollment — Benjamin Bardwell.

Electrical: Proficiency Award in Electrical Trade — Alexzander Cortright, Ethan Courchesne, Jordyn Lavallee, Peter Saladino; Excellence in Electrical Trade — Michael McGoldrick, Joel Smiaroski, Hunter Wozniak; Leadership in Electrical Trade — Tyler Hunter, Justin Littlewood; Most Outstanding Electrical Apprentice — Garret Cole; Connor Powers Memorial Recognition — Nathan Uzdavinis.

Health Technology: High Academic Achievement and Leadership — Alyah Sutton; Health Care Achievement Award — Mia Scott; Work Ethic & Perseverance — Morgan Bowling; Certified Nursing Assistant Pins — Morgan Bowling, Sierra Conversano, Stephanie Pearson, Mia Scott, Alyah Sutton, Bianca Tinkham.

Landscaping/Horticulture: Proficiency in Landscaping, sponsored by Atlantic Golf & Turf, Turners Falls — Christene Praetz; Most Improved in Landscaping, sponsored by Greenfield Farmers Supply, Greenfield — Isabelle Duga; FFA Officer’s Award, sponsored by Snow & Sons Landscaping, Greenfield — Cameron Wood.

Machine Technology: Achievement Award — Jacob Shaw; Performance Award — Jordan Carlo Smith; Quality Award — Jocelyn Crowningshield; Most Improved — David Bickford — Craftsmanship Award — Ian McClure.

Plumbing/Heating: Excellence in Plumbing & Heating, sponsored by Franklin County Plumbing Supply and Franklin County Master Plumbers Association — Kyle Brunelle; Excellence in Plumbing & Heating, sponsored by FW Webb and Franklin County Master Plumbers Association — Lucas Upham; PHCC Plumbing All Star — Aidan Smith.

Programming and Web Develpoment: Excellence in Programming & Web Development — Jacob Boston, Jonathan Tan; Excellence in Animation — Lena Lanoue; Best Effort in Programming & Web — Cooper Gilkes; Most Improved in Programming & Web — Aaron Care.

Welding/Metal Fabrication: Airgas East Award — Andria Ames; Mayhew Steel/Deerfield Packaging Award — Jacob Kozma; Award for Excellence — Lucas Shea; Award for Greatest Improvement — Olivia Romanovicz.

Cooperative Education Acknowledgement: Jesse Archambault, David Bickford, Gabriel Bird, Benjamin Blais, Joshua Blais, Dominic Bowden-Smith, Brody Church, Garret Cole, Sierra Conversano, Jocelyn Crowningshield, Jordan DiGeorge, Aiyana Drouin, Cameron Fisher, Hunter Hillock, Tyler Hunter, Jordan Hurlbert, Joshua Kirley, Jacob Kozma, Lena Lanoue, Dylan Mallet, Luke Mayrand, Ian McClure, Michael McGoldrick, Tucker Millane, Blade Miller, Christene Praetz, Mia Scott, Cody Sluder, Joel Smiaroski, Aidan Smith, Jordan Carlo Smith, Kyle Snyder, Shawn Telega, Lucas Upham, Nathan Uzdavinis, Jared Vielmetti-Perusse, Cameron Wood and Hunter Wozniak.

Skills USA: SkillsUSA Outstanding Vocational Student Award — Benjamin Bardwell; SkillsUSA Recognition Award — Andria Ames, Shelby Cutting, Aspen Keel; SkillsUSA Senior Officer Pin — Andria Ames, Benjamin Bardwell, Shelby Cutting, Aspen Keel.

National Honor Society: National Honor Society Leadership Award — Brody Church, Alyah Sutton.

Student Services: Personal and Social Growth Award — Jesse Archambault; Peer Support/Mentoring Award — Jayla Boisvert; Outstanding Effort — Joshua Kirley; Outstanding Student Achievement, Positive Attitude — Casey Leduc; Excellence in Reading Award — Jordan Carlo Smith; Most Improved in Academics — Anthony Russell; Most Improved in Shop Program — David Bickford; Academic & Vocational Excellence — Emily Brownlee; Math Award of Merit — Clairese Bourdeau; Achievement Award (Most Improved in a Shop Program) — Colby Harris.

Administration: Outstanding Attendance Award — Andria Ames, Benjamin Blais, Joshua Blais, Kevin Clarke, Felicity Coffin, Ethan Courchesne, Alden Courtemanche, Shelby Cutting, Mekhai Felton, Ida LaFortune, Tucker Millane, Kayani Rodriquez, Mia Scott, Eve Towne, Cameron Wood, Hunter Wozniak; Perfect Attendance Award — Garret Cole, Hunter Hillock, Christopher LaCoy, Dylan Mallet, Jacob Shaw, Alyah Sutton; MVA Presidential Certificate of Merit Award — Andria Ames, Benjamin Bardwell; Character Counts Award — Mia Scott; FCTS Accomplishment Award — Alyah Sutton; Student Achievement Award — Michael McGoldrick.

Superintendent: Superintendents Award — Benjamin Blais, Joshua Blais; FCTS Award in Trade, Skill and Service — Jesse Archambault; School to Career Recognition Award — Cameron Fisher; Administrative Recognition Award — Joshua Kirley; MSAA Student Achievement Award — Christene Praetz; MAVA Outstanding Student of the Year — Jonathan Tan.

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