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Class of 2008: Where are they now?
During summer break, Benjamin Sarle is a volunteer firefighter for the Mexico Fire Department.
Chris Glynn will be a congressional internship at U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree’s district office.
Lenny Hall, Gabriel Joseph Hall and Karri McPherson own a home in Mexico.
Matt Defiore is a stage manager at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Washington, D.C.
REGION -- Four years after graduation from Mountain Valley High School, the Class of 2008 is poised to make its mark on the world.
Some have graduated from college and are in the job market. Some are already working and some have taken less traditional paths.
Matthew Defiore was the first to respond to the reporter’s facebook message. He wrote, “I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA (bachelor of arts degree) in theatre from University of Southern Maine. More importantly to me though, I would say, is that I got cast in nine shows during my four college years and five of those were lead roles. My final year at USM I received a ‘Best Leading Actor’ award at my theatre department’s award ceremony, as voted by my peers. This was the most important of many awards I won from this. Currently, I am living in Washington, D. C. and working as a stage manager at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts.”
Christie Folsom reported, “I have graduated with high honors from the University of Vermont and have now moved to Portland as a wellness coach in the corporate wellness sector. I plan to continue working in wellness and continue running marathons, which is my latest accomplishment. I also plan to go back to school for public health!”
Folsom’s undergraduate degree is in nutrition and food science.
Another classmate in the health field is Benjamin Sarle, “I received a BS (bachelor of science degree) in medical biology at the University of New England and have recently been accepted for the master’s program in public health.”
Sarle plans to become a doctor.
Chris Glynn took a more circuitous route on the way to his degree. “I attended Emmanuel College in Boston from the fall of 2008 to the spring of 2010. Then I decided to move to the greater Portland area and transferred to the University of Southern Maine. The upcoming fall semester will be my last at USM, as I will have met all the requirements to receive bachelors degrees in political science and economics.”
Along with going to school, Glynn has landed an interesting job. After Labor Day, he will begin a congressional internship at U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree’s district office.
“I hope that will open other doors for me after I finish school in December,” Glynn concluded. The path was also winding for Karri McPherson. She noted, “I went to University of Maine at Farmington where I completed my first year of college in the elementary education path. I didn’t return to UMF because of financial reasons, but that didn’t keep me from still going to college.”
McPherson turned to University of Maine at Augusta for coursework. With three classes this fall and student teaching in the spring, she will have her bachelor’s degree.
“Along my way through school, right before my third year in college, I found out I was pregnant,” McPherson messaged via facebook.
“My fiancé, Lenny Hall, and I couldn’t have been more excited. I was nervous, of course, because I hadn’t finished school. But I wouldn’t change a thing because on April 8, 2011, our son Gabriel Joseph Hall was born and he has been a blessing.”
Kristen Touchette earned an associate’s degree in liberal arts and is currently a friendly face at the local Walmart. She took some time to figure out where to go next.
“I am going to regain my CAN license and try doing home health care,” Touchette explained. “I’ll try it out to see if it works for me. I am very unsure if nursing is the best for me. I am more than willing to go back to college once I figure things out.”
Kristen Hutchins is also currently working at Walmart and has a ready smile at the checkout. She graduated with an associate’s degree in behavioral health and is working on another degree in medical assisting. Both degrees are from Southern Maine Community College.
Not all of the members of the Class of 2008 chose higher education. Travis McLean works overnights at Walmart. He became a father just before graduation. McLean looks forward to the arrival of his second son in early September. With his growing family, full-time work is essential for this class member.
Life has not been just nose to the grindstone for the Class of 2008. Some are in long-term relationships and some are even contemplating tying the knot.
Kristen Hutchins is engaged to Nathan Noyes, another member of the Class of 2008.
Karrie McPherson and Lenny Hall will be married in May of 2013.
Kristen Touchette will soon marry Eric Rowley, a 2007 graduate of Dirigo High School.
Matthew Defiore reports, “I am currently living with my girlfriend of three and a half years and we are soon to be engaged!”
Hopefully Defiore’s girlfriend knows about the pending engagement; otherwise, this article may be major news for her.
Of this group of young adults, only McPherson and Hall have made the plunge into home ownership.
McPherson commented, “Not many 23 year olds can say they have found a wonderful person to share their lives with, have a fun-loving, handsome son, own a home in a great neighborhood (in Mexico), and will complete their bachelor’s degree by May. I definitely did not do things the typical way, but I think I couldn’t have done better, and I love the way things turn out.”
As time goes on, the Class of 2008 will continue to make their mark in traditional and nontraditional ways. Hopefully, they will find their way back to the River Valley to raise their families or, at least, to visit.