Four happy AHS graduates — from left, Andrew Ichton, Abigail Miolla, Amy Miolla and Bianca Vasquez — show off their diplomas at the June 3 graduation ceremony.

Reminder Publishing photo by Mike Lydick

AGAWAM — Liam Kennedy wasn’t trying to become Agawam High School’s valediction when he entered ninth grade. But that all changed around his junior year when he started seeing what his friends’ grade point averages were.

Liam Kennedy.
Reminder Publishing submitted photo

“It only really became a goal once I realized it was very doable if I took the right classes,” he said. Kennedy said he’s “pretty proud” of his top rank in the class of 2024 — and happy he didn’t fall short of what he knew he could do.

“I’m very excited that my efforts paid off in the end,” said Kennedy. “My parents are very proud of what I’ve accomplished — which also makes me happy.” His overall GPA is a 4.5049, but he said that probably doesn’t count his final semester.

The 18-year old said his secret to earning a high GPA was not only staying focused on his academics but also getting his assignments done on time.

“I have a pretty good memory, too, so I would cram the night before my tests,” he said.

Dominic Chen continued the tradition of past Agawam High School class presidents by taking a selfie with his classmates before delivering his address at the 2024 graduation on June 3.
Reminder Publishing photo by Mike Lydick

Less than a week before the June 8 graduation, he still didn’t know what his valedictory message would be to his classmates.

“I don’t really know what I’m going write my speech about,” he said. “I don’t feel like I worked much harder than other student did and I find it hard to get motivated for schoolwork. So, I don’t want to make a speech about something I don’t agree with.”

The Agawam native’s fondest memories during his four years at AHS are mostly tine spent hanging out with his friends and competing on the cross country team. He said he’ll miss a lot of his teachers, but since he plans to keep in touch with his friends all the time, he doesn’t expect to miss them as much.

Jacob MacDougall was among more than 240 seniors who were presented diplomas from Mayor Christopher Johnson.
Reminder Publishing photo by Mike Lydick

“I won’t miss doing track because I would get injured all the time,” said Kennedy, a 12-month runner who ran cross country and both indoor and outdoor track. He was part of the school’s “As Schools Match Wits” quiz team, was a member of the Puzzle Club, and served as secretary for the National Honor Society.

Kennedy will attend the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he will work toward a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

“I chose this as my major because it’s a pretty stable career with a lot of openings across the country — almost every company can use an accountant,” he said. “Additionally, I can put up with monotonous tasks much better than most people. So, I think I might enjoy the job, along with the fact that it pays pretty well.”

mlydick@thereminder.com | + posts