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East Grand Vikings set sail for new adventures

DANFORTH, Maine — A small, but close-knit group of 12 East Grand Viking seniors bid a fond farewell to their school on June 6.

Salutatorian Mallory Gilman welcomed family and friends to the ceremony and reminded her peers to take chances once they set forth on the next phase of their lives.

A mortar board cap decorated by one of East Grand’s graduates. (Courtesy of Marilyn Stoddard)

“I encourage you to branch out from our small corner of the world,” she said. “I implore you to take risks and go beyond your comfort zone, to go on adventures now when you have options and fluid joint motion. Don’t fear mistakes because they are bound to happen whether you like it or not.”

Gilman also urged her colleagues to use their political voice to help shape the world.

“We are given a voice and I encourage you to use it, even if someone might not agree with you,” she said. “We are starting to become adults and I know that it’s scary, but I also feel new excitement of all the possibilities that we can have in front of us. We must seize any opportunity we have with both fists and know that our parts are not set in stone.”

Valedictorian Jennifer Crone looked back fondly on her time at East Grand, and reminisced about the many enduring friendships she has made along the way.

“When I look back on my best memories in high school, I always think of sports,” she said. “I think of the fun, but sometimes long bus trips; the long practices, but they were always worth it; eating snacks in the dugout with the softball team, provided by Coach Shaun Beaudoin; or eating at McDonald’s or Subway. I had the best coaches and the most amazing teammates. I’ll always look back on those times fondly.”

Crone added she was thankful for the opportunities that East Grand School has provided her and encouraged her classmates to make the most of their future endeavors.

“Now it is time for us to start a new chapter of our lives and everyone’s path will be different,” she said. “Whether your path is going to college or going straight to work, make the most of your life. Set goals for yourself and achieve them.”

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