Houlton Pioneer Times

Eagles ready to stretch their wings

HOULTON, Maine — A small, but tight-knit class of five seniors at Greater Houlton Christian Academy enjoyed one final sendoff Sunday before embarking on the next phase of their lives.

Held at Military Street Baptist Church, Sunday’s ceremony marked the final gathering for the Class of 2021 before they head out into the world. Head of School Matthew Smith welcomed those in attendance for the ceremony.

Salutatorian Joel Carmichael impressed upon his fellow graduates the importance of continuing to work hard in whatever career path they choose.

“We find ourselves laying the foundation for the rest of our lives,” he said. “Because life is a journey, it’s also a competition. The job doesn’t always go to you because you have the right degree. A lot of people have degrees. You have to work to put yourself above the rest. You have to stand out amidst the crowd. We’re not called to blend in. We’re supposed to stand out. Matthew 5:16 says to let our light shine before men so that they may see our good deeds and glorify God.”

Valedictorian Jessica Quint took her classmates on a trip down memory lane, recalling the times of hiding under a teacher’s desk for an entire day; getting banned from the library; pulling a full sweet bread platter out of a desk in the middle of Mr. Angotti’s science class; and getting broken out of study hall to go buy a fish to name a few.

She also encouraged her peers to not follow their hearts when it comes to making important life decisions.

“If we follow our heart then we will probably find ourselves doing only the things we want to do — things that are inside our comfort zone,” Quint said. “But once we decide to follow God and not our heart, we will find out how much we would have missed if we had taken the easy road. Once we decide to leave our comfort zone, we will see many new doors open that we didn’t even know were there before.”

First Honor Essayist Jeremy Stone introduced guest speaker Nathan Foster, a teacher at GHCA, saying “Mr. Foster has had an impact on not only the lives of this class, but in the lives of many students here at the Academy. He has diligently taught the fourth and fifth grade for the last 17 years, and is known for his humorous, yet sometimes strict teaching style.” 

Foster gave a number of humorous recollections of the graduating seniors, pulling out notes that were made when the students completed their fourth- and fifth-grade years to see how accurate the assessments were.

He also imparted a few words of advice to the class.

“You have been given the tools to succeed in your future,” he said. “You have what you need. Success isn’t about the job with the biggest paycheck. Do the best you can in whatever your hand finds to do. Seek His will and you will succeed.”

HOULTON, Maine — June 4, 2021 —  Greater Houlton Christian Academy Head of School Matthew Smith speaks during Sunday’s 29th annual commencement ceremony. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

HOULTON, Maine — June 4, 2021 —  Joshua Simoes (left) presents a rose to his mother Heidi at the Greater Houlton Christian Academy graduation Sunday afternoon at Military Street Baptist Church. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.