Presque Isle High School grads told to travel

17 years ago

    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – In addition to their high school diplomas, Presque Isle High School graduates received a good piece of advice at their commencement exercises June 8 – travel.
“Whether your next plans call for more schooling or for work, you need to make time to see as much of our country – and world – as possible,” said keynote speaker Warren M. Silver, justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. “Why? Because it is very important for you to see how others live and work, to learn from their cultures, and to share your culture and experience with them.

“This is a small, interdependent planet. We all need each other both economically and socially. It is part of your education to see and experience other places,” he said, noting that the graduates shouldn’t let lack of finances keep them from seeing the world. “For those of you who are going to work, you can work and travel.
In England, for example, many students graduate high school and take six to 12 months working their way through Europe or other parts of the world.
“They often work in hotels or restaurants for a few months at a time and then move on,” said Silver. “That exposure, I believe, helps them when they return to their home to settle down more permanently.”
For the graduates who are going to college in the fall, Silver reminded them that almost every school has a study abroad program.
“It’s cheaper for students to study abroad for a semester than at their home school,” he said.
Recognizing that the students have “grown up in a wonderful environment in the far northern and eastern part of Maine,” Silver said “spending time in a foreign culture will reward them in so many ways.”
“You need to see much more of the country and the world in order to make this place better, and in order for you to realize what a very special place you have here,” said Silver, a 1966 graduate of PIHS. “I am totally convinced that this generation must have more exposure than we did … exposure to how work is done, money is made, and people of different backgrounds coexist. There are books and newspapers to read and movies and shows to watch, but there is simply no substitute for learning through firsthand experience and observations.”
Class speaker Molly Hamel told her peers that now is the time to take what they’ve learned and apply it in the “real world.”
“Up until this moment, we have been taught math, English, science, social studies, and the basic knowledge of how to survive in a civilized society,” she said. “Now is our time to use the information and life lessons we have been taught by our teachers, coaches, advisers, friends, and family to make our own decisions. Whether they may be good or bad, that is for us to find out.
“As we graduate today, we will all be looking forward to starting this journey of the unknown, but our moments spent together at Presque Isle High School, Cunningham or Skyway Middle School, and Mapleton, Zippel, or Pine Street Elementary School will not be soon forgotten,” said Hamel. “I hope that each moment of our future will always be filled with subtle reminders of our journey as the Presque Isle High School Class of 2007. Whatever corner of the world you explore, I hope that the memories of our time spent together as the Class of 2007 will stay with you forever.”
PIHS Principal Eric Waddell noted that commencement is a meaningful and memorable event not only for the graduates, but for their parents, as well.
“As you appeared in the gym entrance tonight, those of us on the platform here saw a handsome group of seniors in full commencement regalia, but all your parents could see as you stepped into the gymnasium was their baby boy or girl taking that first, huge step onto the school bus for the first time 13 years ago,” said Waddell. “You were on your way to kindergarten … the first day of school.
“You continued marching, step together, step together, through the center of the gym to the beat of the music, but your parents could see nothing except their sweet 8-year-old marching in unison with classmates onto an elementary school stage for a holiday concert,” he said. “You made your way to your seat among your fellow graduates here in front of me as the ensemble built to a crescendo, but your parents’ vision became blurred with the image of you at your eighth-grade promotional … an image that was so clear to them, they shook their heads and rubbed their eyes in disbelief.”
Waddell then thanked parents for placing “an incredible level of trust upon our educational family for the last 13 years.”
“I never really appreciated that degree of trust until I experienced it for myself, not as a teacher or a principal, but as a parent with a child heading to pre-K in August,” he said.
Awards were then presented to the top five students of the Class of 2007. The number-five student, Molly Hamel, finished the school year with a 94.1887 grade point average; Meghann Varnum (number four) with a 94.612, Whitney Jandreau (number three) with a 94.7358, Shane Ireland (number two) with a 94.7391, and Sarah Gonsioroski (number one) with a 94.8163 grade point average.
Musical selections included “Corner of the Sky” performed by Katie Buckley, “Oh, How the Years Go By” by Chelsea Kaiser, “Whenever You Remember” by Nicole Ballard, and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by the PIHS Chorus.
Presque Isle High School graduates included Curtis R. Allen, Frederick L. Asam, Abbey Leigh Atcheson, Joshua J. Bagley, Nicole Madeline Ballard, Thomas Michael Barnes, Christopher Nicholas Beaulieu, Brien Kendall Boucher, Cody James Boucher, Kaitlyn Mia Boucher, Amanda Joy Boyles, Timothy K. Brewer, Amanda Lynn Bruton, Jared Bruce Buck, Brooke Elizabeth Buckley, Katie Anne Buckley, Katherine Louise Buob, Justin Ray Burby, Brianne Nicole Calabrese, Ashley Marea Cash and Ana Paula Cerqueira.
Also, Adam Steven Chandler, Gabriel Lewis Cheney, Kris Marie Churchill, Karen Anne Ciccolella, Derek Alan Clair, Janna Leigh Clukey, Nicholas Coburn, Paul Michael Colton, Kristen Corey, Timothy Coty, Heidi May Cray, Nathan Clark DeFelice, Brittany Brooke Denbow, Paul Craig Deschaine, Spencer Deschene, Emily Rose Desjardins, Allesha Christine Dockery, Mitchell N. Dufour, Andrew Michael Dunn, Ashley Nicole Dunn, Andrew Duplessis, Nicholas Todd Ellis, Devin Todd Embelton, Molly Elizabeth Everett, Raymond Forrest Flagg III, Ryan Richard Forsyth, Heather Sue Fowler and Brian Gilmer.
Also, Chelsea Michele Glovins, Sarah Liane Gonsiorski, Jacob Timothy Graham, Jordyn Taylor Graves, Matthew R. Guimond, Molly Delano Hamel, Kirstie Hanks, Jillian Jo Hartley, Joey Hedrich, Michael Thomas Hersey, Lucas Ireland, Shane Kenneth Ireland, Whitney Ro-Lin Jandreau, Joseph Nathaniel Johnson, Robb Johnston, Shauna Lee Johnston, Chelsea Rae Kaiser, Meredith Anne Kilpatrick, Paige Elizabeth Kilpatrick, Charles Sidney Kirk, Kimberlee Faye Labbe, Benjamin Lawrence LeBlanc and Trent Thomas Legassie.
Also, Alyssa Dean Littlefield, Mitchell Longley, Samantha Lynn Lunney, Angelica Mae Masters, Jenni Lee Maynard, Matthew McCarthy, Robert Michael McCluskey, Ryan Christopher McCluskey, Daniel Roy McCue, Morgan McGary, Shaun Glen McMaster, Benjamin McPherson, Nicole Renee Michaud, Elizabeth Reeves Morrow, Brooke Geri Murchison, Amanda Jane Nadeau, Angela Rae Norsworthy, Crystal Lynn O’Connor, Dana S. Patten, Joel Michael Pickens, Thomas William Pinette, Samuel Reid Porter, Dustin Geoffrey Punches, Isaac W. Raymond, Lindsey Ann Rockwell, Bradley Sam and David Sanipass.
Also, Skye Lauren Sawyer, Marina Schermuly, Faizaan Shamsi, Lucien Fernand Simard, Chelsea Ann Joy Simpson, Kelly Paige Smith, Nathan Alexander Smith, Jennafer Spencer, Megan Theresa Sturgeon, Brett Anthony Sullivan, Brittany Ann Sullivan, Seth Holt Swanson, Victoria Ashley Tanenbaum, Joseph Michael Theriault, Bradley Ryan Thibeau, Tiffany Elizabeth Tompkins, Amanda Elizabeth Underwood, Meghann Sarah Varnum, Shaina Lea Watananuchit, Nicholas Burns Weeks, Jonathan Wendell, Joshua James White, Kyle R. Whittier, Alexander Reginald Willette, Ross Madison Wolland and Logan Thomas York.