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Students urged to dare to dream
Class President Jeremie DeTellis noted that dreams never take flight without hard work. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
At right, Garrett Carver was one of 93 seniors presented with a diploma. At left, the Class of 2013 celebrates when officially proclaimed as graduates. (Times photos by Bruce Farrin)
RUMFORD -- As the 93 graduating seniors finished singing the class song, "See You When I See You," there were many smiles and a few tears at the conclusion of the Mountain Valley High School graduation last Thursday.
The blue-robed students followed behind class marshals Elizabeth Adley and Nathan Fitzpatrick. Each student marched to the traditional "Pomp and Circumstance." Honors students wore yellow sashes; the top 10 wore white ones.
Many expressed their individuality with their footwear. There were black socks and sandals, winter boots, work boots, ballerina shoes, sandals and flip-flops.
More mortarboards than not carried a message or decorations.
MVHS Principal Matt Gilbert said the Class of 2013 was truly unique. It is also among the smaller classes in recent years.
In the welcome address, Class Vice President Alexander Witas noted, "High school graduation represents our ability to overcome the many challenges that came our way in the past. Today, we recognize our commitment to four laborious years of assessments, studying, too many long night staying up for homework; the morning rush to school to try to avoid a late slip or speeding ticket."
"But in an hour, all of that will be behind us. In front us are our bright futures. Some of us might not pursue any type of post-secondary education, but the confidence that comes with the achievement of a high school diploma represents will be there to draw on when needed. These are times with tremendous change in the world and the importance of this milestone can't be underestimated," he said.
"As we go on and further our education in many diverse ways, I know we can count on your continuous support as we depart from the protective harbor by Mountain Valley and propel ourselves into the unknown to pursue our goals," said Witas.
In the senior address, Class President Jeremie DeTellis, speaking to his classmates, noted, "No matter what society tries to tell you, each and every one of you here today has the power to impact for good. If you or I were graduating from Homestead High School in the Class of 1972, most of would have doubted that Steve could have achieved anything meaningful in life. After all, Steve had been in trouble with the school on several occasions and graduated at the bottom of his class with a 2.65 GPA, which, at our school, would not even be passing.
He noted that "Steve" is better known as Steve Jobs, who created Pixar and Apple.
"All of our lives have been changed by one man, who had a dream, and lived out that dream no matter what others thought of him. Most important though, Steve Jobs never let early setbacks in life determine his future potential," said DeTellis.
"I want to challenge everyone here today not to define your own self-worth by the value that is so often unjustly assigned to you by society, but instead, let it drive forward to prove the naysayers wrong. As we go our separate ways in life, I urge all of you to remember the wisdom of Steve Jobs and to never short sell yourself, even if the odds seem daunting or impossible at times," he said.
DeTellis made a second point that dreams never take flight without hard work.
He talked about Paul LePage, who was homeless at age 11, but became the Governor of Maine. “The governor overcame great obstacles. He reminds me of how great our state is."
DeTellis also said that although money and resources may be limited, opportunities are not. “Everyone here today could become governor. Your opportunities are never defined by your past. Never attempt to devalue or marginalize human value.”
After the ceremony, most of the graduates boarded on a bus and headed to the Boothbay YMCA for a night of music, food and games.