The Massachusetts Virtual Academy at Greenfield held its graduation ceremony on Friday (June 9) evening, awarding diplomas to 24 students.
“You all started in a traditional school, but took a leap into the future of education by finishing your journey in a virtual, online, environment,” MAVA’s executive director, Dr. Judy Houle, told graduates in her opening remarks. “You have gained valuable skills of distance learning and working with others over physical miles of separation. These skills are the ones that will serve you well in your future endeavors, as these are the critical skills for the future of learning and work.”
This year’s recipient of the Susan D. Hollins Foundation Award is Anthony Lucchesi. The award is given in honor of MAVA’s founder, Dr. Susan Hollins, and is granted each year to the graduate who exemplifies the characteristics of courage, scholarship, generosity, and entrepreneurial spirit.
“With extensive travel across the country, Mr. Lucchesi, who is pursuing a professional-level BMX bike racing career, stayed on top of his coursework, demonstrated strong commitment to his academic goals, and exemplifies what MAVA stands for,” Dr. Houle said.
Class Valedictorian Maraam Abdel-Baki wrote a poem about MAVA. “MAVA was the key that unlocked the doors to success and future education,” she wrote. “MAVA was a ladder that reached the clouds.” The Class of 2017 salutatorian, Ashley Zellmann, thanked the teachers and staff and her family for supporting her academic pursuits. Philicia Henderson and Brenna Linnane earned John and Abigail Adams Scholarships. Two graduates, Sophia Singer and Ashley Zellman earned membership into the National Honor Society.
This year’s graduates gained admission to a wide array of colleges and universities, including Simmons College, Northern Essex Community College, Springfield Technical Community College, Florida Gulf Coast University, Holyoke Community College, Lindsey Wilson College, Massachusetts College for Health and Pharmaceutical Studies, Curry College, Fort Hays State UniversityAmerican International College, Anna Maria College, Berkshire Community College, Grand Valley State University, Holyoke Community College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Massasoit Community College, Northeastern University, Quinnipiac University, Quinsigamond Community College, Salem State University Springfield College, University of Massachusetts , Wachusett Community College, Western New England University, Westfield State University, Wheaton College, and Worcester State University.