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Southern Aroostook principal refers to eight graduates as ‘unique’ group

DYER BROOK, Maine — Although there were just eight students in the class, graduates of Southern Aroostook Community School soaked up the moment and the accolades during a short ceremony on Friday evening.

The Class of 2018 featured two males and six females, including two students who accelerated their course loads so that they could graduate during their junior year.

Jon Porter, principal of SACS, congratulated the class members on all of the hard work that it took for them to accomplish their goals.

“I am not sure that I have seen a class as unique as this one or a class that experienced so much personal growth,” he told the audience.

He added that the school would never forget the class.

Stephen Porter, chairman of the RSU 50 school board, moves the tassel on Rebecca Crandall’s mortar board from one side to the other during graduation ceremonies at Southern Aroostook Community School in Dyer Brook on Friday, June 8. (Jen Lynds)

Valedictorian Hunter Walker of Island Falls was awarded substantial scholarship money during the graduation. Walker noted that more than half of the class would be attending college and that he planned to pursue a business degree this fall.

“Students in this class will be pursuing degrees in nursing, psychology and early education,” he said during his address.

Walker thanked his parents for all of their support over the years: “Even when we disagreed, I know that I’d never have gotten here without you. I love you guys.”

He also praised his classmates for their friendship over the years.

“I would like to thank you for encouraging me to chase my goals,” he said, in addition to lauding the two students who graduated from high school one year early. “Let us enjoy this amazing time until we go on with the rest of our lives.”

Porter urged the students to return to their communities to pursue work and family life.

“You have a community who really supports and loves you,” he added.

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