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East Grand Vikings bid fond farewell to family, friends

DANFORTH, Maine — A small group of 13 seniors said their goodbyes to East Grand High School June 7 during the school’s commencement exercises.

Valedictorian Amanda Massey gave a poignant address to her peers and the audience on how addresses in the past have reflected on past events and predictions of future successes.

“No matter how many details I give, I will never be able to express the full truth about today, about this experience, about high school,” Massey said. “This is one of those moments in life where you don’t comprehend exactly what is happening until it hits you and you’re like, ‘Wow, it’s graduation day.’”

She added that with their new-found freedom from high school, so too comes a better understanding that actions have consequences.

“By receiving our diplomas, we are gaining something else with an equal amount of importance — our individuality,” she said. “We are about to take everything we have learned, everything we’ve been shaped into and apply it to our aspirations in this rapidly evolving society.”

Kianna Caissie gets ready for East Grand’s graduation June 7 in Danforth. Thirteen students received their diploma during the ceremony. (Courtesy of Holly Dicker)

Massey encouraged her peers to not stress about future plans, as most likely every adult sitting in the audience had no clue where they would end up when they were 17 or 18 years old.

Salutatorian Brady McEwen, in his address, said graduation was bittersweet for him and many of his peers.

“On one hand, we’re graduating,” he said. “We’ve been looking forward to this day ever since we know how to say the word. On the other hand, we’re leaving. After 12 years of knowing what tomorrow will hold, we are officially being pushed into the ‘real world.’”

McEwen said much has changed over the past 12 years, including technological advances and friendships that have come and gone. But as the final year of classes wound down, new friendships were formed.

“We’ve made a lot of memories this year,” he said. “From the hours spent in the library, to the daily arguments about this or that, this senior year has become the most unforgettable chapter of my life. I wish all of you success and happiness as you leap into this next significant part of your lives.”

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