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'Nobody' Better Than the Mount Greylock Class of 2024
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:43PM / Saturday, June 08, 2024
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Mount Greylock graduates toss their caps on Saturday in the high school gym.

Class speaker Judge Martin offered apologies all around for the chaotic class of 2024. See more photos here.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The class speaker for the 104 graduates of Mount Greylock Regional School apologized for the wild and crazy antics of the class of 2024. 
"Our class was not that easy. We came into this brand-new school like a bull in a china shop. It was crazy," Judge Martin said. Students came into the middle school from surrounding towns, and "with that mix of kids, chaos happened." 
They lost field trip privileges, the right to use the staircase and claimed credit for the burst pipe that flooded the new school and sent everyone home early just days before the entry into remote learning because of the pandemic.
"On behalf of my class, we apologize for the mess," Martin said. "But look at us now — we're no longer those middle schoolers everyone hates, no longer causing water damage in our school. And surprisingly, no longer the worst middle school class to come through Mount Greylock, which was really a hard title to take but somehow the grades below us found a way."
He was also sorry it took so long for the class to realize how amazing they are and apologized for taking them all for granted.
"We're sorry to this school and everything we put it through most importantly thank you for giving us the time to grow out of chaos and find our identity in the end," Martin said. 
Martin gave a shout out to Superintendent Jason McCandless, who announced his departure at the end of the school year, calling him "our favorite superintendent" to loud applause. 
"Thank you for being the amazing man you are and shining your positive light on us students over these past four years," he said. "This district will forever be thankful for it."
But after the laughs, he took time to remember his best friend from Williamstown Elementary who didn't come with them to the new school: Everett "Eve" Claffey, who died at age 10 from mitochondrial disease.
"She could not walk with us or talk with us but she impacted my classmates and me in a way I would not have expected her to be able to," he said, with a catch in throat. "Eve was a ray of sunshine in my class but sadly had to go too soon. There's one thing I know about her though, even with her body was shutting down and her eyes closing, her smile never left. 
"I'm sure Eve is smiling today as well, watching us right now."
Caleb Low, speaking for the class as a whole, recalled her resilience and determination and contagious smiles, "she was able to connect powerfully with us. ... in her all to short lifetime, Eve was able to teach us all the language of compassion and empathy, and how much it means to see the world through another's eyes. We will keep Eve close in our hearts forever and continue to cherish the memories we have of this curious, strong, righteous soul."
McCandless told the graduates he used to listen to a sports talk radio host who would end his shows with, "Hey, listeners, who's better than you?" He'd been thinking for 22 years that everybody was better than him and on good days, only most were better. 
"In our society and our communities, comparisons go hand in hand with the highest level of competitiveness. And my hunch for you seniors is that you spend some time each day measuring yourself against others in your home, in your school," he said, but added, "each of you is a unique treasure worthy of being treated as such. ...
"No one is better than you. It's true. And it's not hubris and it's not bragging to say because it's also true that you are not better than anybody else. ...  You're no more deserving of love or respect or gratitude or graciousness or hospitality or a second chance or a third chance or a fourth chance than anyone else around you. That's why you need to love your neighbor in the same way that you love yourself. And it's why you need to love yourself with all your heart."
They may encounter many who are better at, but they will never encounter anyone who is better than. 
"Thank you for being you. Thank you for sharing your journey and your light and your love with all of us and all good things for what's next," the superintendent said. "Who's better than you class of 2024? Nobody."
Grace H. Winters and Ava Anagnos, class treasurer and secretary, welcomed the gathering. Concert band played the graduates in and out of the gymnasium and accompanied the chorus in "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "The Road Not Taken." Principal Jacob N. Shutz and Assistant Principal Samantha Rutz presented the awards, and Shutz, McCandless and School Committee Chair Christina Conroy presented the diplomas. 
Schutz said he was filled with admiration and excitement for each of them and that their journey so far has been filled with "the spirit of resilience."
"It's about having faith in yourself and in the future even when the path is uncertain," he said. "Graduates, you will face challenges that no generation has encountered before. The world has changed rapidly. And you've had to adapt in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago. You've navigated a global pandemic, shifting educational landscapes and unprecedented societal changes. Through it all, you have demonstrated remarkable resilience in these unique and unprecedented challenges.
"As you step into the next chapter of your life, I urge you to carry this list. Remember that setbacks are not failures, but opportunities for growth."
Vincent Welch, selected to speak by the faculty, said thanked those who helped the graduates make it to this day.
"It truly is an accomplishment that each one of us should be proud of. We all know that we each face challenges throughout our time at Greylock," he said. "And after my countless number of conversations with both staff and students throughout the school year, I can confidently say that we rose to each occasion presented to us, made our mark and made the best of our high school experience.
"What I'm trying to get you all to realize is how extraordinary you all actually are."
The class transformed the "new" Mount Greylock into a home and a place of pride for grades to some," said Welch.
"And as far as accomplishments go, I think that one is the most important of all. How did we accomplish all of this? The easy answer is in the end, we all just showed up," he said said. "Some of us were consistently a little later than others. But we all showed up nonetheless, each day encouraging and supporting each one of us to pursue what we are good at and love. So I asked you to keep just showing up, keep being the students that made Mount Greylock home."
Two staff members were voted by the students with annual awards. Jeffrey Johnson presented one to paraprofessional Thomas Sherman for caring deeply about his students and as the only teacher he felt "could always reliably brighten your day" and Kadi Rosier recognized paraprofessional Ann Martin for offering guidance and support, and greeting everyone with a smile. 
Math teacher Lucas Polidoro was introduced as Teacher of the Year by Ava Agnagnos. He also had been honored in 2021. 
"Remember class of 2024, you have been given this education, this experience these opportunities for a reason," said Polidoro. "It is your time. People are excited and waiting for you to be and make change. The world needs your expertise, your compassion, your tolerance and your creativity now more than ever. We are all excited and a little bit nervous to see what you will do."
The Mount Greylock Regional School Class of 2024
Marlee Johanna Alpi
George Morgan Munemo
Ché Atticus Guerra*
Ava Eleni Anagnos*
Emma Kate Ashley Hane*
Dylan Ulysses Nevarez*
Lex Constantine Anag1os*
Margaret Colleen Nichols*
Mia Bell Harding
Thomas James Art+*
Matilde Henderson+
Emily Anne Ouellette*
Riley Elizabeth Babcock
Riley Michael Hubby
Gianna Rose Pesce
Jude Isaac Bakija
Phoebe Hayden Hughes
Andrew Joseph Petropulos*
Phoebe Maeve Barnes*
Tyler James Koblensky
Owen George Petropulos+*
Jude Ryan Barzousky
Alaura Mae Phillips
Isabella Amelia Belleau
Jason Mitchel Jaros
Alexa Autumn Politis*
Liam Jacob Berryman*
Emily Grace Johnson
Gabriella Angelica Quagliano
Kaden Todd Bouchard
Jeffrey Lee Johnson
Kamdyn May Quagliano
Mirabel Thompson Boyer*
Shea Ocean Johnson
Quinlan Plenty Repetto*
Jacqueline Maryanna Brannan*
Talia Lynne Kapiloff*
Kelsey Elizabeth Rickert
Emma Lee Brennan
Ece Lina Karakaya
Anya Marie Robinson
Jose Jaime Brito+
Erin Elizabeth Keating*
Declan Greene Rogers*
Larissa Mae Broadwell
Ryan Thomas Keating*
Kadi Christine Rosier
Kaylie Jearnne Bryan*
Jenner Ryan Kittle
Celina Claire Hirsch Savage*
Dominic David Carnevale
Vayda Lyrnn Larabee
Mason Anthony Sayers
Finnegan James Carothers
Luka Grace Lash-St.John+
Echo Tigerlily Simonetta-
Lily Elizabeth Catelotti
Caleb Polk Low+*
Sylvie Kidd Clowes+*
Savanna Alexa Mabey
Jasmine Lee Skorupski
Ellyonna Elizabeth-Lee Maki
Parker Sullivan Snith*
Desmond Isiah Cobb
Lila Estelle Cohen-McFall+
Cecilia Rose Malone*
Oliver James Mason Swabey*
Angie Marie Colandria
Grace Andrea Malone
Jamie Michele Sweren
Xzavior Nicholas Martel-Baliakos
Celia Catherine Szczepaniak
Paul Leo Dale
Matthew Joseph Daley
Judge Paul Martin
Destiny Lynn Thompson
Julia Grace DeChaine*
Jenaya Trinity McCue
Macy Tidmarsh*
Lily Maeve McDermott*
John Joseph Trybus
Benjamin Thomas Dingman
Karlie Jaymz Dowling
Quinn Erone McDermott*
Elliot Grace Turton
Benjamin Owen McDonough
Serafina Liberty Velazquez
Emily Christina Dupuis
Olivia Rose Filiault
Aiden Christopher McKeon
Vincent Peter Welch+*
Abaigeal Cailin Fuls
Lucy Rose MeWeeny*
Marcus Jose Whalen-Loux
Belén Gálvez+*
Anne Kathryn Miller*
Gavin Michael Whaley
Isabella Marie Garivaltis*
Emily Marie Mole*
Grace Holly Winters*
Anabel Grace Gonzales
John Manuel Morales
Louis Samuel Gotlieb
Catherine Marie Moriarty"
*National Honor Society
+Seal of Bi-Literacy


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