Drawing on personal — and often humorous — recollections, the keynote speaker, music director Tony Beatrice, a member of the Pentucket Class of 2002, offered graduates four tips to take along with them as they head off to their futures.
He advised them not to take things too seriously, to rise up and overcome mediocrity and to travel the world — “and do it now.” Lastly, he urged them to “never be afraid to question and stand up for what you believe.”
Beatrice and choral director Stephanie Witz then led the school chorus and percussion ensembles in a moving performance of “Send Me on My Way” by Rusted Root.
This year, the Pentucket Scholarship Foundation awarded $60,500 in scholarships to 66 graduates, including the inaugural awarding of the Jaquelyn A. “Jackie” Kastrinelis Memorial Scholarship, established to honor the Class of 2006 graduate’s passion for music and the performing arts.
Kastrinelis died last year while pursing her dream off the coast of Australia, performing as the lead vocalist for Regent Cruise Line, her father, Michael Kastrinelis, told the crowd yesterday.
The scholarship is intended for individuals who, like Jackie, are not only dedicated to pursing the performing arts, but also are friendly, positive people who stand up for what they believe and inspire others to follow their dreams. This year’s recipient was Kasey Mann of Merrimac, an accomplished musician who plans to study music therapy at Gordon College. Mann’s mother, Robin, accepted the award on her behalf because Mann had committed to coach a Special Olympics event yesterday.
State Rep. Lenny Mirra, R-West Newbury, was at Saturday’s ceremony to rededicate a scholarship established by his family in 1988 to honor his uncle, an Italian immigrant who made himself a success in America. Mirra presented the Norino and Mary Mirra Memorial Scholarship to Quinn Burton of Groveland, who plans to study engineering at the University of Rhode Island.