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Ready to Make their Way in the World, 270 Graduate from Valley Tech

Patricia M. O'Connell, Dean of Students at Valley Tech, delivers benediction remarks at the beginning of Blackstone Valley Tech's 2011 Commencement.

The graduating Class of 2011 from Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School has unlimited potential and a vast amount of opportunities ahead. On the evening of Thursday, June 2 in the Hanover Theatre, Worcester, 270 Valley Tech students took the final steps of their secondary careers, receiving diplomas and certificate of occupational proficiency during the 42nd Commencement Exercises in the system's history. Of the 270 graduates, 1 is a Hopedale resident, 15 are Mendon residents, 39 are Milford residents and 5 are Upton residents.

"As you prepare to face the next phase of your life, you will become startlingly aware that the key person responsible for your successes or shortcomings is you," remarked Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael F. Fitzpatrick. "In all interactions, embrace enthusiasm and exceed expectations (including your own)."

Between senior awards night and graduation, more than 364 awards and scholarships were bestowed upon the Valley Tech Class of 2011, including 70 John & Abigail Adams Scholarship winners. An astounding 16 members of the class earned SkillsUSA medals at the state level and some will travel to Kansas City, Mo. for the National competition later in June. Additionally, the Class of 2011 launched the first ever, advanced placement program in a vocational system in the nation.

While the many accomplishments of the Class of 2011 were lauded, Honors Speaker Ethan Moon of Northbridge commented on how the students can reach their full potential. "I know every member of this class can raise themselves above mediocrity and adversity, to a point in their lives where they are happy and truly proud of their own accomplishments," Moon said. "As a member of this class we all have the potential to make our lives amazing and it is only ourselves that will hold us back. Be proud to do what makes you happy and at the end of your days be proud of the things you have done."

Nearly 68 percent of the graduating class is pursing some form of post-secondary education while some 32 percent will enter directly into the workplace or military.

"As much as this is a time to reflect on our past, it is also a time to look forward," said Class President Kayleigh Dowden from Upton. "It's a time to realize that high school was just one step in this amazing journey that we call life. Now is the time to set your goals, create your dreams and be all that you aspire to be."

"Everyone wants to know the secrets to success, and I don't know the answer to that," commented Student Council President, Kurt Stefancyk of Northbridge, "but you should find something that you enjoy doing in life. Don't dwell on bad decisions made in the past, but learn from them and try to improve for the future."

"Some of you may go on to positions of great influence and individually make great things happen," stated Dr. Fitzpatrick. "But keep in mind each and every one of you can work to make small things happen and those things collectively will make your world, the world of tomorrow, a better place."

National Honor Society President Connor Walsh of Uxbridge and Jordan DaSilva of Milford are all smiles prior to Blackstone Valley Tech's Commencement exercises.

The following is a list of members from the graduating class of 2011 from Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School who are residents of Milford. National Honor Society members are indicated by NHS:

Jennifer L. Agosto Villegas, Dental Assisting;

Jade Regina Silva, Graphic Communications;

Marcella Lage Bentea, Dental Assisting;

Josh J. Bonina, Graphic Communications;

Jeffrey L. Brown (NHS), Carpentry;

Timothy J. Brundrett, Drafting;

Ashaya M. Cox, Painting and Design Technologies;

Kimberly M. Dalpe (NHS), Dental Assisting;

Philip DJ D'Ambra, Carpentry;

Jordan E. DaSilva, Health Services;

Ryan M. Davis, HVAC/R;

Christopher R. Delmore, Drafting;

Chad C. Dravnieks, Manufacturing Technology;

Rebecca L. Ferreira, Business Technology;

Christopher J. Funes (NHS), Culinary Arts;

Steven Goncalves, Auto Body;

Brendan W. Grady, Drafting;

Tabitha L. Hazen, Culinary Arts;

Bradley J. Kelley, HVAC/R;

Joshua M. LaBonte, Drafting;

Shaira M. Lavandier, Painting and Design Technologies;

Sarah E. Leibrandt, Business Technology;

Erin Eilish McGowan, Health Services;

Edward J. Moran (NHS), Electrical;

Patrick V. Motuzas, Carpentry;

James M. Muise, Auto Body;

Chantell Oliveras, Business Technology;

Sara N. Ottman, Business Technology;

Ryan W. Pounds, Automotive Technology;

Joshua R. Rabinovitz (NHS), Plumbing;

Jacob M. Reynolds, Drafting;

Queren deOliveira Rios, Dental Assisting;

Camila O. Rosa, Business Technology;

Corinne A. Sanborn (NHS), Painting and Design Technologies;

Baljinder Singh (NHS), Information Technology;

Daniel M. Sousa, Carpentry;

Gabriel E. Tawilly, Automotive Technology;

Brittany J. Vanderpoel, Health Services;

Nicholus T. Vinton, Graphic Communications.


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