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Houlton Higher Education Center honors local grads

HOULTON, Maine — Nineteen students pursuing post-secondary degrees were honored Friday evening at the Houlton Higher Education Center’s annual recognition ceremony.

Tracy Rockwell, director of the HHEC, welcomed the graduates and their guests to the service.

“Thank you for joining these graduates today for this special recognition and thank you for supporting them over the last few years in their educational journeys,” Rockwell said. “I have had the opportunity to work directly with most of the graduates that we are recognizing here tonight. Some of them have been in classes with me, some as work study or passing in the hallways. I hope you feel that you have encountered support, strength, motivation, patience and inspiration from the staff and faculty.”

University of Maine at Presque Isle President Ray Rice and University of Maine at Augusta Interim Dean of Students Robert Roper offered their words of encouragement to the grads before turning the mic over to Houlton Police Chief Tim DeLuca, who served as the guest speaker.

Houlton Police Chief Tim DeLuca was the guest speaker at the Houlton Higher Education Center’s annual Recognition Ceremony for college graduates Friday evening. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

DeLuca said speaking in front of the grads was one of his many career highlights as it provided an opportunity to mentor and influence society’s most important resource — college graduates.

“First and foremost, love your job,” he said. “You have your education, so find a career you love. Every job has its ups and downs, but even the challenges can make your environment better. Consider how you can make a difference to influence change.”

He encouraged the graduates to believe in others and their abilities, even if a co-worker’s approach to the job might be different than your own.

“Don’t criticize, but pledge to make something better,” DeLuca said. “For this you will be remembered and respected. Whether you choose to be an influence to others you are simply by being there, so make the best of it by offering positive alternatives, encouragement and motivation.”

Receiving their diploma from the University of Maine at Augusta were: Jessica Caron, Charity Cyr, Tim Cook, Ashley Ellingwood, Danielle Fitzpatrick, Ashley Langill, Samantha Palmer and Jacqueline Spencer.

Earning degrees from the University of Maine at Presque Isle were Deanna Bailey, Laura Beals, Heather Carmichael, Rachelle Williams Dickey, Derrick Ellis, Maggie McNally, Jessica Nye, Brandon Spellman and Wendy Spellman.

In addition, Sherry Hubert received a degree from the University of Maine at Machias and Tessa Winship earned her degree from the University of Southern Maine.

Following the ceremony, a light luncheon was held in one of the classrooms for the graduates and their families.

Charity Cyr is the spouse of Houlton Pioneer Times Assistant Editor Joseph Cyr.

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