Multimedia Communications graduate Andrea Matellian of Upton (center) and Cosmetology grad Clarissa Karagosian of Northbridge were congratulated by Andrea’s sister, Jaclyn, a junior in the Engineering program. Andrea will be studying Applied Physics at Northeastern University in the fall.
In a special address to the Class of 2016, Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald L. Walker, II, encouraged graduates of Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School to make the most of the countless opportunities awaiting them in the world of work.
“One of life’s biggest lessons – which you have already started to learn – is that it is full of opportunities,” Walker said. “You just have to be willing to go after them.”
Secretary Walker’s words of wisdom were offered to 289 graduates on May 25 during the Blackstone Valley Tech Class of 2016 commencement ceremony in Worcester’s Hanover Theatre. As a graduate of the former Boston Technical High School, Secretary Walker told the graduates that he is personally familiar with the foundation for success a skill-based education can provide.
“With the skills and education you received here at BVT, you have shaped your futures. As you move on to continue your education – whether it is at college or on the job – the lessons learned at BVT will follow you to every endeavor, every job, and every opportunity you have in the future,” Walker said. “You are prepared for anything.”
With an eye to the future, Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick advised the Class of 2016 to prepare for remarkable technological advancements that will require them to practice adaptability.
“Many of you will someday work in industries and hold positions that do not exist today. Your future titles could include avatar manager, body part designer, climate change reversal specialist, orbital tour guide, and memory augmentation surgeon,” Fitzpatrick said. “Observe, analyze, and respond with enthusiasm and excitement to changes in business and industry, and you will always be at the front of the pack.”
The commencement ceremony also featured special addresses from student speakers, including Valedictorian and Senior Class President Theodore Floyd of Upton, who applauded the Class of 2016 for reaching new heights and raising the bar at Valley Tech.
“I could speak all night and never adequately cover the accomplishments of the young men and women seated on this stage,” Floyd said. “Because if this isn’t the greatest graduating class in the history of Blackstone Valley Tech, then that other class must have been pretty darn awesome.”
Student Council President Megan Sweeney encouraged her classmates to reflect on the growth they experienced since their first day at Valley Tech.
“We have evolved and become who we are today. I am overwhelmed when I think about my own journey. Four years ago, I would never have believed that I would be here now, speaking to all of you. I have a lot of people at BVT who believed in me, who inspired me, who have contributed in some way to my life, and who helped me create who I am.”
As they prepare to pursue countless opportunities and pathways, Salutatorian Michael Altavilla of Mendon told his classmates that he is confident the Class of 2016’s track record of success will continue to grow.
“Regardless of where tomorrow leads you, I am certain that each of you will leave today’s ceremony as a well-rounded individual who has been afforded the tools of success during your time at BVT,” Altavilla said.
After receiving their diplomas and vocational certificates, members of the BVT Class of 2016 were greeted outside the Hanover Theatre with hugs, cheers, and congratulations from hundreds of proud parents, guardians, family members, and friends.
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School serves the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton and Uxbridge. Located in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, Blackstone Valley Tech creates a positive learning community that prepares students for personal and professional success in an internationally competitive society through a fusion of rigorous vocational, technical, and academic skills. The school’s website is www.valleytech.k12.ma.us.