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Valley Tech Celebrates Next Generation of Workforce Leaders Mendon resident named Class of 2014 Vale

Joe Trettel of Milford was joined by Elizabeth Wojnar of Grafton, proudly showed off his attention-grabbing socks following Valley Tech's May 29 commencement ceremony. Trettel graduated from the BVT Electrical program. BVT photo

The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester was packed Thursday evening as family, friends, and educators gathered to take part in the Blackstone Valley Tech Class of 2014 commencement ceremony.

After four years preparing for the next stage of their career development, the Class of 2014 was praised by Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick for its near 100 percent placement in post-secondary institutions, employment, apprenticeships, and military service. As the students embark on their chosen professional pathways, Fitzpatrick drew on his experience as an avid gardener and advised the graduates to keep their feet on the ground and their hands in the dirt. "My advice is to keep moving. Keep sowing the seeds, tilling the earth, and even occasionally shoveling the proverbial manure, in the garden of your life," Fitzpatrick said. "Do not give up and your odds will improve."

As the Class of 2014 Valedictorian, Jennifer Morin of Mendon advised her classmates to honor their Valley Tech education by making good decisions and striking an important balance in the years ahead. "Life, in my mind, is a balance of risks and responsibility," said Morin, a graduate of the Drafting and Engineering Technology program. "Our parents and teachers have helped us preserve this balance up until this point. Now it's up to us to maintain it."

Morin was joined on stage by fellow Drafting and Engineering Technology graduate and Class of 2014 Salutatorian Jake Rivard of Northbridge, who saluted his classmates for seeking and securing a vocational technical education. "We are no longer children, but rather homebuilders and manufacturers. We are the people who ensure the lights stay on, the computers keep working, and your hair looks fabulous on those specials day," said Rivard. "Going to Valley Tech was always about more than keeping the water running and the cars on the road. It was about taking the initiative to learn something useful, without sacrificing anything academically, and using it to make our futures that much brighter."

Assistant Principal Matt Urquhart, the grade level administrator for the Class of 2014, applauded the graduates for surpassing the high expectations that come with the pursuit of both an academic and vocational technical education. He said, "By being on this stage tonight, you have illustrated that you can handle responsibility, you can handle adversity, and that you are not afraid to look a challenge in the eye and say, 'I want more.'"

 To conclude their commencement ceremony, a total of 279 seniors from throughout Valley Tech›s 13-town district took the final steps of their secondary careers across the Hanover stage and received both a diploma and a certificate of occupational proficiency.

Blackstone Valley Tech Class of 2014 Valedictorian Jennifer Morin of Mendon and Salutatorian Jake Rivard of Northbridge were all smiles prior to their commencement ceremony on May 29. Jennifer and Jake are both graduates of the BVT Drafting and Engineering Technology Program. BVT photo


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