By KATHERINE LAZARUS
WEST RUTLAND — Principal Jay Slenker proudly ushered in West Rutland School graduates on June 11, congratulating the class for its accelerated work toward college: through Vermont’s Flexible Pathways Initiative, 47% of the class completed at least one college class and 26% completed at least three before graduating high school.
Valedictorian Macalyster Perry, who won four state championships for track and field and holds the state record for the 110-meter hurdle, will study business management at Castleton University. In his speech to the class at graduation, Perry thanked teachers, family, and friends, saying he learned that “a smile or a compliment can completely change someone’s day or even life. As Ghandi said, ‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world.’” Salutatorian Mallory McGuiness, one of the six students who went to West Rutland School since kindergarten, touched on how COVID affected their time in high school, joking that “all the boring things got taken away.”
“You are some of the best people I have met, and I can’t wait to see the amazing things the future has in store for each of you,” she said in her address to classmates. McGuiness was class president for all four years and was part of the National Honor Society for her junior and senior years. She sent her fellow graduates off with a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, that “the only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”
Of the 24 graduates, students who received the Cum Laude award were: Elizabeth Bailey, Noah Davis, Abigail Farrow, Mallory McGuiness, Alana Pearo, Macalyster Perry, Tyler Serrani, and Jacob Vanderminden.