Southern Aroostook holds second consecutive outdoor graduation
DYER BROOK, Maine — For the second consecutive year, Southern Aroostook’s senior graduating class received their diplomas and tossed their caps into the air in an outdoor setting.
This year’s class consisted of 25 students, who unlike last year’s group did not need to sit six feet apart from each other. Ten students graduated either cum laude or magna cum laude, with nine of those students also being a part of the National Honor Society.
The graduation for the Class of 2021 comes after a year of new implementations to learning to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Hannah Brown, the class secretary, spoke about how the Class of 2021 had faced several obstacles in conducting a new way of learning during the pandemic, but also how the class managed to meet those challenges.
“I didn’t enjoy attending Google Meets at 7:50 in the morning, but I was able to see the long term benefits of my education,” Brown said. “Everyone who walks across this stage today has achieved something great. We conquered every obstacle thrown in front of us these past years despite the circumstances. We learned patience, we learned determination, and best of all we learned how to persist.”
Delaney Greenlaw, the class president, spoke about her anxiety of leaving her small community and taking her next steps in the world, and the pride she felt of being a part of that community.
“Growing up here my entire life, I have come to admire many things about our community, but my favorite has always been the generosity of its members and their ability to quickly and selflessly come together to help those in need,” said Greenlaw. “No matter where we decide to go, the support will follow. Regardless of location, we all share the same core values of family, friendship, and belonging.”
Wyatt Harthorne, the class vice-president, also spoke of the next steps following graduation, and urged his fellow students to follow their goals and ambitions in life.
“There is so much more to our lives than just stumbling along from day to day wondering what comes next,” said Harthorne. This isn’t to say that it will be easy, but knowing what your purpose is will help you to continue pushing forward.”