By Nancy Asbedian, Bedford representative to the Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School Committee
On Thursday, June 6, Bedford residents Antonio Attardo and Mia Smith celebrated with more than 300 classmates who graduated from Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School.
Thanks to Andrew Pigeon, Director of Community Services & Post-Secondary Programs, we are pleased to share this information about Bedford’s two students in the Class of 2019.
Mia’s diploma is in Design and Visual Communications. She was a member of the girl’s soccer and softball teams, a member of the Art Club, the student newspaper, GSA, and was Yearbook Editor during her senior year. A participant in Skills USA, she was also a volunteer in Shawsheen Tech’s “Rise Against Hunger” Community Service Activity. In the fall, Mia plans to attend Lasell College to major in Secondary Education, with a focus on History.
Earning a diploma is in Automotive Technology, Andrew is described as a ”driven student, focused on his career and technical education who developed a strong work ethic, in both his academic and technical coursework” He worked hard to keep his grades up and meet all the qualifications for Shawsheen’s Cooperative Education Program. Antonio began his cooperative educational placement at Sullivan Tire in Bedford during the spring of his junior year, where he continued his employment throughout his senior year, working full time during his technical week. In the fall, Antonio plans to attend Porter and Chester Institute to continue his education in the field of automotive technology, while he continues his career full time at his cooperative education employer, Sullivan Tire in Bedford.
As a recently elected school committee member, I was privileged to be seated behind the podium with other members and had a close view of all the activity that transpired to produce a successful event. Both students and staff fulfilled their responsibilities with humor and grace, and all went as planned. And the weather cooperated as well.
It was a typical graduation: balmy evening; purple and white caps and gowns; mortarboards adorned with flowers, photos, and messages; eager faces crossing the stage; and bursts of screams and support from proud family and friends as each name was announced.
Graduates strode across the stage in various heels, sandals, or sneakers. Some savored every moment that belonged to them as they received their diplomas. Others raced on and off. Occasionally, a fellow school committee member would step forward to make the presentation to a special graduate with a hug and words of encouragement.
Student speakers thanked individual teachers and staff, family, and friends. Each delivered words of inspiration and promise.
Then there was the not so typical part. As students approached, I could read the major course of study represented on the white banners they proudly wore. The list was lengthy: Health Assisting; Computer Aided Design and Drafting; Auto Collision Repair and Refinishing; Dental Assisting; Information Support Services and Networking – Computer Programming and Web Development; Medical Assisting; Business Technology and Marketing; Plumbing; Electricity; Graphic Communications; Masonry and Tile Setting; Automotive Technology; Machine Tool Technology; Design and Visual Communication; Carpentry; HVAC; Medical Assisting; Cosmetology; Electronics; Metal Fabrication and Joining Technologies; and Culinary Arts and Bakery. It was an impressive list.
Some graduates will attend college. Some will be employed in their chosen profession. Some will enter the military.
All will face the future armed with skills and education for a successful life and carrying memories of an exceptional high school experience.
As acting superintendent Melanie Hagman said in her remarks, “The windshield wiper is larger than the rearview mirror. Look ahead and go forward.”
And so they will.
Correction: With apologies, Mia Smith was originally misidentified as Mia Scott in this story.