Tight-Knit Class of 2017 Graduates with Honor and Distinction

MaryKate Farnham, Staff Writer

For the 353rd time, on June 2nd, 2017 a Hopkins Academy class marched into the blue and gold decorated gymnasium to Pomp and Circumstance to receive their diplomas. It was a truly magical moment for the family members and friends in the crowd to see the students walking down the aisle, with their faces full of anticipation for the future and wearing their school-colored caps and gowns.

Valedictorian, Lily Gido, kicked off the ceremony with her welcoming address, touching on how fantastic the class of 2017 is and what a hard-working and dedicated group they are as well. She also remarked about how close these class members are since the majority of them have known each other since preschool.

Trustee board member William Dwyer handed out 19 scholarships worth a total of $26,000. Six students received $500 scholarships, nine received $1,000 scholarships, and three received $2000 scholarships. Paul Kosakowski received the generous scholarship of $3000.

Introduced by senior Caleb Farnham, the Distinguished Alumni Award was given to Ron Waskiewicz. Mr. Waskiewicz is a lifelong Hadley resident, graduating from Hopkins in 1970. He is a retired state police officer who worked at local driving schools, impacting the lives of many Hopkins students by helping them get their driver’s licenses.

One of the two class advisers, Daniel Vreeland, was chosen by the class to address the graduates. Mr. Vreeland explained how he started teaching at Hopkins the same year the senior class began in seventh grade. As the class matured, so did Mr. Vreeland, learning most of what he now knows from the little seventh graders. His message to the class included three lessons that he had learned from them: never underestimate yourself or others around you, don’t take life too seriously, and no matter how lonely you are, you are always someone’s hero.


The night ended after graduates tossed their decorated caps into the air, and the Hopkins Academy band played the alma mater, Hail, Hopkins, Hail. The graduates exited the gymnasium to Kids by One Republic, which concluded the night on a hopeful note for all the great things to come for the graduates.