Franklin County Technical High School   82 Industrial Blvd.   Turners Falls, MA 413 . 863 . 8119

FCTS Class of 2016 Urged to Live Life to the Fullest

FCTS Class of 2016 Urged to Live Life to the Fullest

Nick Tokman’s commencement address to the Franklin County Technical School Class of 2016 was irreverent and funny, but also held an important life lesson.

The cast member of the Discovery Channel show “Deadliest Catch” urged the 122 graduates to make the most of the days ahead of them. Tokman, a West Springfield native, said that without any “hiccups” along the way, the graduates could live to be 100-years-old and they should live their lives without regrets.

“Time is ticking,” he said. “There was a study conducted interviewing people on their death bed asking them about their regrets in life. The consensus was that most people did not regret the things they did do, but actually the things that they didn’t do. And I can only speak for myself and my own experiences, and I mostly agree with it.”

Tokman said he didn’t regret moving to Alaska to become a crab fisherman, which led to his inclusion in “Deadliest Catch,” despite going broke, being homeless and having to sell a gold necklace his mother gave him. He added that didn’t regret crashing a racing car, or streaking in the Holyoke Mall parking lot, although he recommended the graduates not do it because “you could be labeled a sex offender.”

In the end, Tokman advised the graduates to follow their hearts and do the things in life that are important to them before it’s too late.

“Decide on a path closely and deliberately,” he said. “Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself one question, ‘does this path have a heart?’ If it does, the path is good. If it doesn’t, it is of no use.”

The Franklin County Technical School graduation was held this year under a tent at Greenfield Community College due to ongoing construction projects at the Turners Falls school.

FCTS Class of 2016 Urged to Live Life to the Fullest

FCTS Principal Shawn Rickan opened the ceremony by noting that this was the 40th anniversary of the school and his first year as principal. He said he was “proud of the 122 graduates here this evening.”

“It was my pleasure to serve you as your principal and I wish you all the best,” Rickan said.

Richard J. Kuklewicz, FCTS School Committee chairman, said the graduates will experience many more accomplishments in their lives, and when they hit a bump in the road they must rise to the challenge.

“There will be setbacks,” he said. “That just means that you’ll have to work harder to achieve the next accomplishment.”

FCTS School Superintendent Richard Martin challenged the graduates to weigh risks and rewards throughout their lives. He said the group took a risk by leaving their friends from eighth grade and coming to Franklin County Tech. The reward was they found “new friends for life, real work experiences, and a pathway toward a new career.’

Martin said it is risky, but necessary, to stay the course when others express doubt, and to not give into the temptation to seek a solution with little or no effort.

“You have heard the saying that ‘nothing good in life is free,’” Martin said, “but I challenge the graduates to take on a new philosophy and believe that the rewards of your life are in each of you, when you seek the interests of others before your own, honor those who raised you, and care for those who need you. That, my friends, is a risk worth taking and comes with rewards that you cannot imagine.”

FCTS Class of 2016 Urged to Live Life to the Fullest

Salutatorian Kaitlin Churchill quoted Maya Angelou by saying “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

“Passion is a quality that Franklin County Tech students never lack,” she continued. “You have to want to be here and you have to want to do well.”

Churchill, a resident of Turners Falls, said FCTS students represented the school in the community which included overcoming stereotypes of young people who choose a vocational and technical school education.

“We became powerful parts of the community doing things that some people twice our ages never do,” she said. “We turn the passion we have for our shops into compassion and apply the skills we learn to help the community. For some of us that is serving restaurant goers and hosting events, or volunteering in nursing homes and care centers; for others it is building houses, wiring buildings or maintaining sports fields. I’m still amazed everyday by our accomplishments and the overall wonderful people that I was lucky to have in my life for four years.”

Valedictorian Hailey Lowell spoke about how the Class of 2016 came from 19 different communities, but bonded and grew together.

“We helped each other find our way through the years and helped each other find who we are,” she said. “We gained knowledge, trust, compassion and common interest with others. We’ll have to continue to push ourselves to become better versions of ourselves.”

Following graduation, Lindsey Mailloux of Erving, who sang the “Star Spangled Banner” to kick off the event, said she was happy, but also a little sad to be leaving her friends and teachers after four years.

“I got to meet so many people from different towns,” she said. “I got to learn the cosmetology trade that will help me out in the future. I’ll miss my friends and the shop.”

Briar-Rose Colon of Orange, another cosmetology student, is hoping to one day open her own salon. She said FCTS did a great job in preparing her for the workforce.

“I’m a licensed cosmetologist and the program here helped me with my career in the future,” Colon said. “It gets you ready for the real world. But, I’ll miss my friends, teachers and the memories. It went by fast.”

Clay Kelley, an Automotive Technology student from Buckland, said he felt a sense of accomplishment by graduating. He said the school environment is very welcoming to all the students.

“I’ve been reflecting lately on how the teachers make the school into a community,” Kelley said. “A lot of teachers encouraged me along the way, especially Miss (Alyssa) Kelly and Mr. (Seamus) Roche, and many others.”

Kelley is going to major in chemistry at Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio in the fall.

Sunderland’s Zach Barker said his education in the school’s Machine Technology program has already paid off.

“I got a job at Bete Fog Nozzle,” he said. “I’m happy about that.”

Franklin County Tech Grads Urged to Lean on Their Experience at the School Throughout Life

Franklin County Technical School
Class of 2016 Graduate List


Jared Michael Brothers – Deerfield
Vanessa Elizabeth Rachael Cannon – Orange
Briar-Rose Colon – Orange
Lydia Rebecca Dodge – Buckland
Victoria Rose Howes – Orange
Lindsey Marie Mailloux – Erving
Destiny Amber McDonough – Whately
Hailey Margaret Perkins-McCraw – Ashfield
Areyon Octavia-Marie Politis – Greenfield
Allyson Belle Rainbow Renaud – Montague
Yarelis Nicole Santana – Montague
Ciara Nicole Staiger – Montague


Jarod Charles Brown – Montague
Laurel Ariana Cooke – Warwick
Steven Anthony Easton – Bernardston
Kyle James Burke Gray – Northfield
Mitchell Edward Mailloux – Erving
Dustin James Mallette – Orange
Emily Kate Maselli – Wendell
Christopher Peter Porrovecchio – Bernardston
Tanner James Richardson – Montague
Seth Curtis Rider - Greenfield
Delaney Ellen Shepherd – Colrain
Gabriel David Vorce – Orange

Culinary Arts

Fallyn Elizabeth Adams – Gill
Brittany Alexis Andrews – New Salem
James Joseph Barcomb – Jacksonville, VT
Alix Rosalin Burnett – Erving
Emily Rose Giguere – Colrain
Tala Aiyana Houle – Greenfield
Emily Marie Jamieson – Greenfield
Alexander MacKenzie McBurnie – Orange
Corey Jacob Mitchell – Orange


Jacob John-Edward Armentrout – Orange
Daniel Scott Chabott II - Northfield
Jeremy John Durant – Deerfield
Dylan Wesley Knowles – Orange
Brett Tyler Roberts – Colrain
Nikolas Christopher Skiathitis – Northfield
Derek Thomas Vaughn – Greenfield
Samantha Lynne Watson – Orange

Welding & Metal Fabrication

Kate Elizabeth Burnett – Erving
John Lawrence Crowley III – Bernardston
Michael Paul Grover – Erving
Patrick Charles Lashway – Northfield
Walter Timothy Piela – Deerfield

Programming and Web Development

Matthew Paul Baranoski – Montague
Thomas James Burden – Greenfield
Emmett Roberge-Friedrichs – Sunderland
Jeremiah James Gibson – Greenfield
Aaron Douglas Haskins – Colrain
Zachary Scott Korpiewski – Whately
Catherine Anne Landers – Montague
Sean Jacob Russell – Northfield
Bradley David Sawyer – Greenfield
Christopher Thomas Smith – Erving
Colton James Tarbox – Wendell

Plumbing and Heating

Nicholas James Baranoski – Greenfield
Hunter Mitchell Bardsley – Orange
Austin Jon Burdick – Buckland
Nathaniel James Crocker – Bernardston
Cal Joseph Daignault – Greenfield
Spencer Daniel Hunt – Deerfield
Kyle Alan Johnson – Ashfield
Samantha Mae Scopa – Greenfield
James Matthew Sykes – Greenfield

Landscaping and Horticulture

Culleen Denise June Ames – Orange
Meagan Nichole Blais – Halifax, VT
Douglas Andrew Coates – Charlemont
Colby Alexander Collins – Northfield
Andrew Joseph LaCoy – Bernardston
Morgan Diane Plante – Orange
Harley Lynn Robinson – Montague
Nicole Charlene Rogalski – Shutesbury
Matthew Ryan Smith – Conway
Emily Elizabeth Sullivan – Colrain

Automotive Collision
Repair & Refinishing

Kyle Adam DeAngelis – Leyden
Sebastian William Fisher – Orange
John Alexander Hume – Orange
Samantha Jean Macomber – Orange
Stephanie Marie Macomber – Orange
Alexis Rose Rich – Greenfield
Kane Anthony Rich – Greenfield
Anthony Michael Riel – Orange
Amber Mae Whitmore – Orange

Pre-Employment Program

Samuel Richard Balcanoff – Greenfield
Brandon Johnathan Lyman – Wendell
Brandon Lee Skiffington – Orange
Dylan Francis Wood – Leverett

Business Technology

Tyler Jon Clapp – Orange
Cameron Alexander Dubrule – Buckland
Gretchen May Emerson – Greenfield
Anthony Steven Ludwig – Orange
Makayla Elise Smith – Greenfield
Jennifer Renee Yeglinski – Greenfield

Automotive Technology

Nathan Scott Breen – Erving
Samuel Keith Carpenter – Whatley
James Douglas Holloway – Northfield
Cody Michael Johnson – Leyden
Clay Dalton Kelley – Buckland
Dominic Craig McLellan – Montague
Joel Stanley Monahan – Whately
Dean Patrick Whitney – Orange
Jared Matthew Wiggin – Northfield

Health Technology

Kaitlin Rose Churchill – Charlemont
Ivy Britt Cross – Montague
Ciara Rose Desrosier – Montague
Sienna Sophia Diemand – Wendell
Megan Elizabeth Duga – New Salem
Kamryn Justice Frost – Orange
Victoria Cheryl Trombley – Conway
Teagan Ashley Valeski – Buckland
Mallory Ann Willis – Charlemont

Machine Technology

Jacob Ross Amidon – Montague
Zachary Lee Barker – Sunderland
Jonathan Hunter Boston – Northfield
Brandon James Boudah – Deerfield
Adam Patrick Brennan – Northfield
Andrew Nathaniel Goodwin, Jr. – Northfield
Hailey Rita Lowell – Wendell
James Joseph Miller – Greenfield
Timothy William Momaney – Montague
Eric Baines Osman – Heath
Justin Alan Thompson – Orange

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