Hello and welcome to the commencement ceremony of the class of 2018. Graduation is a time of celebration, of remembrance, of ending one chapter and starting another. It is a time to rejoice in past memories, and to look forward to the new path ahead. One of my personal favorite pieces of literature in my adolescence boldly spells out “oh the places you’ll go.” This book, penned by Dr. Seuss, empowers youth on the great things ahead and the things we will do.” It speaks of moving mountains, becoming famous, reaching for your goals, and aspiring to be the best you can be. However, as important as it is to look ahead to your future careers, future families, and future lives, it is just as necessary to look back on the places we have gone and the things we have done and reflect on the achievements of the class of 2018.
Our class is, in my opinion, one of the most successful graduating classes from Boothbay. Our athletes have performed at a high level and have shattered records and led some of the most successful campaigns in some of Boothbay’s sports histories.
We set 13 school records, had 24 MVC all stars, two All State Field Hockey members, one All New England Field Hockey Player, three Campbell Conference All-Stars, two Miss Maine Finalists — with one in field hockey and another in basketball, two McDonald’s Basketball All Stars, one 1,000-point scorer, one regional title, eight conference champions, seven conference championships, and one state championship.
Our class also has an artistic side, with six seniors being selected for All Cast for their excellent acting over our four years here, and one, Jackie McLoon was given the student director award at the National Junior Theater Festival. We also had success with art, with art being selected to show at the Portland Museum of Art. In addition, Hailey Greenleaf’s photography was selected to the Maine State Photography Show last year.
All of these athletic and artistic accomplishments were done while being successful students as well. In the classroom our talents and passions shone at the local, state and national level. Some of the places my classmates and I have already gone include Lilly Sherburne, who won the National Prudential Volunteer Award, as well as Isabelle Curtis who received the Gold Key from the Maine Scholastic Writing Awards. Sherburne was also featured in the Washington Post, and three policy changes, including Lilly’s new water fountains, Summer’s game field changes, and my own changes to how we celebrate our top students were enacted due to our class advocating for change. Amazingly, our class has fundraised over $37,000 through four years. Our clubs have succeeded immensely, with three seniors — Max, Hayden, and Connor — placing second at states for robotics, and another senior, Connor Demmons, winning MVCs Math Competition for all four years. Fourteen of these graduates were named MVC academic all stars. Sixteen seniors are graduating with magna cum laude which is 90 or above grade point average — and is to be noted — a school record.
There is no doubt we are ready to jump into the world, achieve our dreams and move those mountains Dr. Seuss urged us to chase after. We are ready to move on to the next chapter of our lives whether it be college, trade school, the workforce or internships — “today is our day” and we are ready to conquer it with the same success that has followed us throughout our high school careers.
However, it is incredibly important to note that our class would not have been able to be this successful and go the places we have gone, and the places we will go, had it not been for the spectacular community, school and family support we have received.
To the community: thank you for your constant and unwavering support of our class. This success indicates the unique support system of the Boothbay Region. You have pushed us to be the best we can be, helped shape who we are as people, and have aided us in determining our passions. Whether it be through supporting our sport teams, attending our plays, or trusting our class enough to wash your cars so we could afford this ceremony today, you have been a constant, unwavering presence that has made our academic careers bright and exhilarating.
The faculty at BRHS has given us the ability to know everything we need to succeed and have supported and encouraged us from the moment we stepped through these doors, and for that, we are eternally grateful. The faculty does whatever they can to help you succeed, whether it be sending emails to frantic students, writing letters of recommendations for scholarships and applications, or even doing independent studies to further students interests in subjects. These educators have made an impact on each and every one of us, and are the reason I decided to pursue education myself as a career, as I dream I can shape students futures in such a positive manner such as you all do every day.
To the parents and families sitting before us: words cannot describe what you have done for us. You are our biggest supporters, and without you all, we would not be sitting before you. Your support, through the highs and lows, has given us the confidence to succeed in life beyond high school. You have pushed us to perform well and do the best we can, and the statistics I shared with you all are the direct result of that. Thank you for all you have done and will do for us.
To the class of 2018, thank you. It has been a thrilling, frustrating, happy and memorable journey. I urge you to take the skills you have learned from this institution and to apply them to wherever you go. I look forward to seeing you all 10 years from now to talk about the places we have been, as I know you will all succeed in the future as doctors, as lawyers, as politicians, teachers, biologists, rocket scientists, engineers, hair stylists, and lobstermen.
It has been a pleasure growing up alongside you all, and I am incredibly proud to say I am receiving my diploma today alongside such a fantastic group of kids. And remember: for every mountain you move, every achievement you reach, the things you will do could not have happened without each and every person sitting before us.
So with that, I end with this quote from Dr. Seuss:
“Congratulations! Today is your day! You're off to great places - You’re off and away - and will you succeed? Yes, you will indeed! (98 and three quarters guaranteed!) Your mountain is waiting. So...get on your way!” Oh! The Places you will go!”
Thank you all!