Ludlow High says good-bye to the class of 2011

Ludlow High says good-bye to the class of 2011

Jordan Leal, News Editor

Ludlow High School graduated 210 seniors on June 11 at a ceremony held at the University of Massachusetts’ Mullins Center. Ninety percent of this senior class will be moving on to post-secondary education which is the highest percentage to do so in 10 years.

“This is a fantastic achievement, and we all are so proud of them. We also must recognize the hard work it took to get our students to this point, and always encourage them to never give up,” said principal Gina Flanagan.

Vice Principal  Michael Halpin stepped in to fill Flanagan’s place at graduation because she was home recuperating from an illness. After the chorus and band performed, Halpin addressed the graduates and other attendees before valedictorian Adam Leecock took the stage to give his address.

“I was honored to fill in for Mrs. Flanagan. She and I had many conversations to make sure the seniors’ graduation still went as planned. They are a great group of kids and deserved for it to be perfect,” said Halpin.

Leecock reminisced on the past in his speech, speaking year-by-year on his high school experience. He discussed how the memories created by the Class of 2011 have helped shape them into the people they have become.

Leecock discussed what graduating did not mean: “It’s not time to be lazy, it’s not time to forget, it’s not time to lose interest,” he said before wrapping up his address with his praise and farewells, and walking back across that stage with a satisfied smile.

“That big speech is finally over, and so is graduation. Now we have three months to relax and create more memories, exactly what we all have been waiting for,” said Leecock after the ceremony.

With the Valedictory Address completed, it was time for the graduation message from Class President Michael Ziencina to take place, followed by the Presentation of Awards.

The 15 awards were spread among only nine students. Susan Skaza received the most awards of the night with four: The William D. Mullins Student Government Award, The American Legion Award (School Citizenship Award), The John J. Hurley Award for the excellence in the study of social studies, and The Florence M. Saulnier Award for the excellence in the study of English.

“I was honestly not expecting any of those and it was really great to receive them,” said Skaza

Jennifer Holly was awarded with three: The Ludlow High School Award For Excellence in Girls’ Athletics, The Peter Boita Award for the excellence in the study in math, and The Francis R. Duclos Achievement Award for excellence in the study of science.

Leecock received two awards: The James P. Rooney Award For Excellence in Boys’ Athletics and The Ludlow Education Association Award for being the number one ranking student.

Dolores Francisco received achievement by receiving the George E. Russell Award for excellence in the study of literature.

The Paulo Zina Foreign Language Award was presented to David Clark.

The Paul R. Baird-US History award was given to Zachary Breault.

The Bernard Burns Art Award was presented to Samantha Ribeiro.

Matthew Simon was given the Gregory Wrinn Award for excellence in the study of choral, theory, and history of music.

And finally, Emily Taylor was presented with the Director’s Award for Band for excellence in the study of instrumental music.

Once the awards were completed, all seniors rose from their seats and walked one-by-one across the stage as they received their diplomas, which were distributed by  Superintendent Dr. Theresa M. Kane and Chairman of the School Committee Dr. Michael J. Kelliher. The female students were first, receiving their diplomas by height, and the boys soon followed their pattern. The reading of the senior names was done by advisers Jennifer Picard, Rebecca Mathisen, and Brett Smith.

Seniors officially became graduates after moving their tassels from right to left, symbolize their accomplishment. The crowd cheered, air horns roared, tassels and beach balls were thrown while the seniors walked off the stage chanting “One-one, it was fun! One-one it was fun! One-one it was fun!”