Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School officially gave 221 diplomas during the school’s 42nd graduation ceremony on Sunday, June 6th.
Superintendent-Director, Stephen Dockray, was joined on stage by School Committee Chair Brian Mushnick of Norfolk, Principal Michael Procaccini, Vocational Director Cathie Rebelo, Director of Special Education John Martin, Class Valedictorian Vivienne Seested of Franklin, Class Salutatorian Gerard (Ace) Ayotte, III of Seekonk, and. Class President Jennavive Barber of North Attleboro.
“You have made it to today despite a world-wide pandemic happening around you for the past 15 months. You have had to adapt continually over your last two school years here at Tri-County. This is a skill set that will serve you well in future years,” Superintendent-Director Stephen Dockray said. “Class of 2021, you did it! You should be SO proud of yourselves. It may not have been an easy road, but you made it!”
During her inspiring Valedictory speech, Seested spoke about Tri-County’s motto, “Work Hard, Today Counts,” and encouraged her classmates to “Work hard, work smart. Your yesterday, today, and tomorrow count.”
Barber’s Class President speech saluted her graduating classmates by saying, “Among us are electricians who powered light to hospitals, IT experts who fixed students’ Chromebooks during distance learning, and even healthcare workers who took care of COVID patients. We may have not had a normal high school experience, but as a vocational school, we did something bigger; we impacted the world in ways teenagers have never done before. We were unlike any others before us; we were unprecedented.”
Several students were awarded local scholarships and tool awards totaling $82,100 available exclusively to Tri-County students during the ceremony. Similar to scholarships, tool awards are given by local businesses, civic organizations, and families to aid students entering the workforce to purchase tools for their trade.
One of the largest scholarships awarded is the Dean College scholarship given annually to one Tri-County graduate. Anna Weidman, an Engineering Career Program graduate from Franklin, has been awarded a $36,000 tuition scholarship to Dean College for the 2021-2022 academic year. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years/eight semesters of attendance at Dean College. This is the twenty-third year that Dean College has awarded a scholarship to a Tri-County Regional student.
This year, Digital Federal Credit Union granted $10,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors.
The Tri-County graduation was held on a stage designed and constructed by the teachers and students of our Carpentry Program. The new stage will be used for years to come, and their hard work is much appreciated.
Many Tri-County graduates will further their education by attending a university or post-secondary education. Others will enter the workforce with the certifications and skills gained throughout their high school career, and five Tri-County graduates plan to enter into the U.S. Military.
Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School celebrated the success of thirty-nine graduating seniors during the school’s annual Honors Night, Thursday, June 3rd. Due to COVID restrictions, the yearly Honors night was held for seniors, and the underclassmen will be celebrated later this month.
The ceremony included awards for outstanding performance in academic courses, Honor Roll, four years of perfect attendance, and overall school and community contributions. Recipients included: Jennavive Barber was selected for Outstanding Vocational Student Achievement and awarded the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Award, Vivienne Seested was chosen by Superintendent Stephen Dockray to receive the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents’ Award for Academic Excellence. Theodore Sedam was selected by Principal Michael Procaccini to receive The Principal’s Award rewarded for outstanding student achievement.
Four members of the Class of 2021 were lauded for maintaining perfect attendance throughout their four years of high school. Gerard Ayotte, Jennavive Barber, Julia Gruseck, and Adam Lacasse.
Academic excellence awards were granted to Gerard Ayotte in Math and Science, Jennavive Barber for English, Joseph Leonardi for Physical Education/Health, James Mayer for Social Studies, and Anna Weidman for English.
Seniors recognized for their outstanding athletic achievements include Gerard Ayotte Senior Male Scholar Athlete of the Year, Jennavive Barber Senior Female Scholar Athlete of the Year, Camden Schweitzer Senior Female Athlete of the Year, and Theodore Sedam Senior Male Athlete of the Year. Bryce and William Dalzell, Joseph Leonardi, Camden Schweitzer, and Holly Swinamer were recognized for their exemplary efforts and improvement with the Cougar Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Cougar Culture Award celebrates students in each grade for their exemplary achievements in scholarship, leadership, character, and service. The final recipients of the Cougar Culture Award for the Class of 2021 are Jonathan Sobczak and Annabelle Yeaton.
The Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association (MSAA) supports chapters of the National Honor Society across the state with the goal to create enthusiasm for scholarship, stimulate a desire to render service, promote leadership, and develop character and citizenship in the students of secondary schools. The MSAA honors one student as the Massachusetts National Honor Society Student of the Year, and this year Nicholas Mullen was selected for this prestigious award.
Gold Medal Winners and representing Tri-County and the state of Massachusetts in the SkillsUSA National Competition
Team of Laila Rifia, Brianna Parker, Paige Kerziner – Career Pathways Human Services
Robert Johnson – Information Technology Services
Silver Medals Winners
Matthew Loonie – Cabinetmaking
Team of Kenjiro Mai, Aiden Mai, Michael Smith – Career Pathways Business Management
Annabelle Yeaton – Graphic Imaging Sublimation
Bronze Medal Winners
Kerry Tracey – Dental Assisting
Jennifer Kalick – Extemporaneous Speech
Aiden O’Malley – Graphic Imaging Sublimation
Seniors from CIS and Legal & Protective Services participated in the Army National Guard’s Cyber Escape Challenge in May. The challenge combines virtual with reality by melding the thrill of an escape room with hacking and coding. Teams decode, decrypt, and defeat their way out before the clock runs out!
Tri-County prepares our graduates for a wide variety of fulfilling career and education opportunities upon graduation. Our alumni apply their knowledge to make meaningful contributions to society. Take a look at our Alumni Spotlights to see where their education has taken them and the lessons they have learned along the way.
Amy Keigwin enjoyed non-traditional schooling for most of her life. She graduated from Tri-County in 2019 from Computer Information Systems. When she was a sophomore at Tri-County, Amy heard an alumni speak about the Leahy Center at Champlain College that piqued her interest. During her tour, she instantly felt that this was the place she was meant to be. Champlain College delivers her more hands-on experience using the tools utilized in the field and offered the specific major she was looking for, digital forensics.
How well did Tri-County prepare you for the challenges you faced or will face in your career?
Very well. Many of the classes I have taken so far have been review, and I could have tested out of a few with the knowledge I gained during high school. I am now getting into major-specific classes and learning new things.
How has your career path changed since graduation?
I started in the Leahy Center with a research job. It gave me the opportunity to discover how the center works and the expectations I would face. I have been promoted to Tier 2 and work within a team. I work with clients directly now where I was previously working internally.
What is the most exciting element of your career?
I enjoy the public sector would like to get into the law aspect of digital forensics.
What is the most difficult thing you have faced in your career?
Deciding what you want to do is a heavy decision. Also, entering a small degree program with about 30 students and there are only 1-3 females total makes it challenging to integrate yourself.
What advice would you give to someone looking to enter your line of work?
Be dedicated and put the work into it. When you come up against technology and specific concepts that you don’t understand, ask for help or get a tutor. You’re going to struggle but learn to ask for help.
How did Tri-County support you in your career goals?
Tri-County helped me figure out what I wanted my career to be and start exploring possible options.
Did Tri-County help shape your career aspirations and plans? If so, how?
The exploratory program got me interested in computers. I enjoyed CIS and started to think long-term. Tri-County helped me get into the career program I was interested in at Champlain.
What is your favorite memory from studying at Tri-County?
I enjoyed being part of Cyber Patriot for three years. It was fun to find security vulnerabilities and have fun with work. I am interested in becoming involved with Cyber Patriot now and returning to the communities I formed while at Tri-County.
Imagine you were going to start high school again- knowing what you know now- what advice would you give yourself?
Reach out for help. It is the easiest thing to do and the hardest thing to do. Don’t struggle silently. Talk to people and figure it out. Most people are learning for the first time too. Allow yourself to connect and grow. Find a solution that works for you.
Would you recommend studying at Tri-County?
Tri-County allowed me to explore what I wanted to do. The exploratory gave me the chance to try things out and make mistakes. It helped me learn what I liked and disliked and helped me decide on my major. Tri-County gave me a good foundation of knowledge that supports my learning in my college courses.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our current students?
When you get to college, you are the “smart one.” The knowledge and skills that Tri-County instills upon you allow you to go into college one step ahead.
Tri-County taught me how to use my voice and speak up for myself. I started to question, “Is this correct?” at Tri-County, and I still question things. Tri-County helped me develop my confidence and be brave enough to ask for help. It also helped me understand how to build communities. I am the only girl and one of the youngest at the Leahy Center and am making significant contributions because I have the courage to ask for opportunities.
Register for Spanish 101 for Fall 2021. Bristol Community College offers Tri-County students a chance to earn three college credits per course for $100. Do well and Spanish 102 for free!
Spanish 101 will be offered starting September 2021: Date TBD.
All applicable forms need to be completed and returned to Scott O’Brien, Head of Guidance by June 30, 2021. The class is expected to be at capacity, once filled, no late registrations will be accepted.