Turners Falls grads proud of new commencement choices

  • Carol Gloski of the Gill-Montague Education Fund presents a rose to a graduate during Turners Falls High School’s 2019 senior commencement Friday. Staff Photo/Andy Castillo

  • Turners Falls High School seniors move their tassels from the right to the left side of their cap during the Turnpike Road school’s commencement ceremony Friday. Staff Photo/Andy Castillo

  • A graduating senior stands for the National Anthem at Turners Falls High School’s commencement ceremony Friday. Staff Photo/Andy Castillo

  • John Putala, senior class president, takes a selfie with his classmates at Turners Falls High School’s 2019 commencement ceremony Friday. Staff Photo/Andy Castillo

Staff Writer
Published: 6/7/2019 10:03:17 PM

TURNERS FALLS — Joyce Phillips and Carol Gloski of the Gill-Montague Education Fund gave out about 50 cut pink roses to the same number of graduates who walked across the stage at Turners Falls High School’s 2019 commencement ceremony Friday.

The evening, like the graduates, according to Senior Class President John Putala, ranged from humorous to profound — for example, a joyfully flung mortarboard caught on the gymnasium’s folded basketball hoop; another student’s shoe became stuck as well when he tried to dislodge the cap. Putala himself began his speech with a reference to rapper Kanye West and concluded with a quote from Snoop Dogg.

Wherever they go, Putala encouraged his classmates to dedicate themselves to the task at hand.

“If it’s flipping hamburgers at McDonalds, be the best flipper in the world,” Putala said to a round of cheers from the seniors, who were garbed in the Turnpike Road high school’s classic white and blue colors.

New this year, graduating seniors were allowed to choose between the two colors for their gowns. Before, men wore blue and women dressed in white.

Valedictorian Anna Kochan recognized those students who bucked the trend. A few men could be seen in white; a number of women wore blue.

“Adapting to change is the only way to move forward and not get stuck in the past,” Kochan said. “I commend those students for their bravery. Change is inevitable. As I see it, how individuals adapt to change is what defines them.”


Dylan Xavier Allen, Alazay Anthony Bauch, Samantha Lee Bocon, Lindsey Claire Bourbeau, Ryan Michael Campbell, Dominic Philip Carme, Reilan James Castine, Andy James Craver, Owen Patrick Darling, Ioanis Panagiotis Dimitriou, Kyle Andrew Dodge, Ruben Galvez Perez, Katherine Elida Garcia, Cailyn Marie Gobeil, Alexander James Houghton-Miles, Jenna Ann Jacobsen, Anna Maureen Kochan, Jacob Owen Labelle, Alexis Celine Lacey, Dizarre Yarilis Lopez, Garrett Steven Martel, Bianca Marie Martin, Katherine Vanessa Moreno-Sibrian, Tyler Michael Murray-Lavin, Josiah Curtis Murry, Ryan Edward Norwich, Tyler William Noyes, Mireya Janet Ortiz, Edison Ovalle-Bartolon, Avias Xavier Politis, John Colby Putala, Summer River Rain, Nestor Efrain Rodriquez, Jovanni Ruggiano, Jeremiah Gabriel Russell, Kallie Sierra Ryan, Hunter Cole Sanders, Isaac Leonard Savage, Sarah Joan Studlien, Holly Marie Tetreault, John Carlos Torres-Benvenutty, Will Ethen Turn, Victoria Veaudry, Thao Hoang Lien Vo, Bryce Andrew Waldron, Sarah Christine Waldron, Hannah Kasandra Welles, Jakob David Wilson, Rayne Marie Wood and Cassidhe Maeve Wozniak.

Senior Class Most Valuable Players

Baseball: Kyle Dodge.

Boys Basketball: Tyler Murray-Lavin.

Girls Basketball: Sarah Waldron.

Field Hockey: Cassidhe Wozniak.

Football: Kyle Dodge.

Golf: Tyler Noyes.

Boys Soccer: Ryan Campbell.

Girls Soccer: Kate Garcia.

Softball: Cassidhe Wozniak.

Boys Swimming: John Putala.

Girls Swimming: Abigail Johnson.

Boys Tennis: Will Turn.

Girls Track: Abigail Johnson.

Volleyball: Sarah Waldron.

Class of 1945 Joseph J. Sheff Memorial Award: Tyler Murray-Lavin.

Marston Baseball Award: John Putala.

Academic and Service Awards

Excellence in Art Award: Anna Kochan.

Excellence in Film Editing Award: Kyle Dodge.

Excellence in Filmaking Award: Reilan Castine.

Excellence in English: Anna Kochan.

Excellence in French: Jenna Jacobsen.

Excellence in Latin: Cailyn Gobeil.

Excellence in Life Science Award: Anna Kochan.

Excellence in MakerLab: Alexander Houghton-Miles.

Excellence in Mathematics: John Putala.

Excellence in Physical Education: Byrce Waldron and Cassidhe Wozniak.

Excellence in Physical Science Award: John Putala.

Excellence in Social Studies Award: Anna Kochan.

Award for Music Excellence: Holly Tetreault.

The Massachusetts Biliteracy Seal for English and Spanish Award: Ruben Galvez Perez.

The Biliteracy Achievement for English and Spanish Award: Mireya Ortiz and Edlison Ovalle-Bartolon.

The President’s Award for Academic Achievement: Will Turn, Sarah Waldron, Ryan Campbell, Andy Craver, Dominic Carme, Nestor Rodriquez and Holly Tetreault.

The President’s Award for Academic Excellence: Anna Kochan, Cailyn Gobeil, John Putala, Mireya Ortiz, Jenna Jacobsen, Samantha Bocon, Sarah Studlien, Kyle Dodge and Cassidhe Wozniak.

The Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association Award: Hunter Sanders.

Turners Falls High School Class of 1947 English Award for Outstanding Effort: Mireya Ortiz.

Society of Women Engineers of Boston: Mireya Ortiz, Anna Kochan.

Turners Falls High School American Citizenship Awards: Mireya Ortiz, Thao Vo and Andy Craver.

Turners Falls High Service Award: John Putala.

Ellen T. Wrightson Memorial Award: Dominic Carme.

Scholastic Merit Awards: Anna Kochan, Cailyn Gobeil, John Putala, Mireya Oritz and Jenna Jacobsen.

The Salutatorian Award: Cailyn Gobeil.

The Valedictorian Award: Anna Kochan.

National Honor Society Members: Samantha Bocon, Kyle Dodge, Jenna Jacobsen, Anna Kochan, Mireya Ortiz, Sarah Waldron and Cassidhe Wonzniak.

Junior Book Awards

Bay Path College Book Award: Josy Hunter.

Sage Student Award: Alyson Murphy.

Saint Michael’s Book Award: Eliza Johnson.

Smith College Book Award: Dabney Rollins.

Swarthmore College Book Award: Chantelle Monaghan.

Wells College 21st Century Leadership Award: Kaitlyn Miner.

Williams College Book Award: Joseph Kochan.


Anna Garbiel Scholarship: Will Turn.

Bill Petravage Memorial Scholarship: Kyle Dodge.

Brian Boguz Athletic Scholarships: Dominic Carme, John Putala, Sarah Waldron and Hannah Welles.

The Michael A. Smiarowski Memorial Scholarship: Cailyn Gobeil and Edison Ovalle-Bartolon; Alternate: Ruben Galvez-Perez.

Edward Brown Memorial Scholarship: Bryce Waldron.

Ernest Lively Scholarship Fund: John Putala and Sarah Waldron.

Erving Teachers Association Scholarship: John Putala.

Erving PTO Scholarship: John Putala.

Franklin First Credit Union Scholarship: Jenna Jacobsen.

Gilmond Lamore Memorial Scholarship: Victoria Veaudry.

Gill-Montague Education Association Scholarships: Dizarre Lopez.

GMEF Enrichment/Scholarship: Anna Kochan, John Putala and Will Turn.

H. Royer Collins Student Athlete Scholarship: John Putala.

Harriot E. Tidd Memorial Scholarship: Reilan Castine.

Ken Brown Scholarship: Samantha Bocon.

Madeline J. Carlson Scholarship: Ryan Campbell, Dominic Carme, Ruben Galvez Perez, Kate Garcia and Victoria Veaudry.

Massachusetts Elks Scholarship: Hannah Wells.

Mery O’Brien Scholarship: Jenna Jacobsen, Anna Kochan, Mireya Ortiz, John Putala, Will Turn and Cassidhe Wozniak.

Molly Baxter Photography Scholarship: Katherine Garcia and Kyle Dodge.

National Elks Foundation Allocated State Scholarship: Jenna Jacobsen.

Newt Guilbault/Frederick S. Lego Memorial Baseball Scholarship: Tyler Murray-Lavin.

Our Lady of Peace Scholarship: John Putala.

Sally Ann Geraghty-Livingson Memorial Scholarship: Anna Kochan and Hannah Welles.

Sonya Lamonikis Scholarship: Sarah Waldron.

Tobin Scholarship: Jenna Jacobsen.

TFHS All-Sports Booster Scholarship: Cassidhe Wozniak and Ryan Campbell.

TFHS Alumni Scholarship: Anna Kochan.

TFHS Class of 1957 Bernard Plaza Service Scholarship: John Putala.

Turners Falls Athletic Club Scholarships: Ryan Campbell and John Putala.

Wells Trust Fund Scholarships: Cailyn Gobeil, Jenna Jacobsen, Will Turn and Hannah Welles.

William Connelly Memorial Scholarship: Mireya Ortiz.

Women’s Club of Turners Falls Scholarship: Sarah Waldron and Garrett Martel.


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