Thirty graduate from Central Aroostook High School

9 months ago

MARS HILL, Maine — Central Aroostook High School celebrated its 30 new graduates during a Friday ceremony in Mars Hill.

The class filed onstage to the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance,” played by pianist Wendy Grass, then listened to inspirational messages from classmates, staff and scholarship presenters.

A highlight of the evening was a slide show set to music that featured a multitude of photos of class members from childhood through their school years.

Salutatorian Kira Fitzherbert started the evening’s festivities. Saying goodbye has never been easy for her, she said, but said her classmates kept each day more interesting than the last.

“Never forget where you came from and every person who contributed to your success,” she said.

Central Aroostook High School seniors, from left, Frankie Pierce, Riley Prince and Delaney McKeen line up just before graduation on June 2, 2023. (Paula Brewer | The Star-Herald)

Ryder Brewer smiles before marching in to Central Aroostook High School’s graduation on Friday, June 2. In the background is Billy Anthony. (Paula Brewer | The Star-Herald)

Valedictorian Frankie Pierce said she is proud of all her class has accomplished so far and reminded them they are starting a new chapter.

“Look in the chairs in front of you. These are the people who have gotten us to where we are,” she said. “We are ready for this adventure.”

Principal Kay York offered advice from Dr. Jordan B. Peterson’s book, “12 Rules for Life.” Standing up straight gives one confidence, she said, adding other best qualities are honesty, integrity, and being open-minded and humble.

“Always remember: Choose to be nice,” she said. “How you ultimately treat people tells everything.”

Anna Kilcollins gets a hug from Dr. Kay York, Central Aroostook High School principal, on receiving a scholarship during graduation on June 2, 2023. (Paula Brewer | The Star-Herald)

Central Aroostook High School senior Nickie Deschaine moves to adjust Lane McCrum’s stole before they march in to graduation ceremonies Friday, June 2, 2023. At left is Colin Ford. (Paula Brewer | The Star-Herald)

There are times everyone will encounter challenging times as a normal part of life, said Superintendent Elaine Boulier, but these storms will eventually pass if met with gratitude, peace, strength and faith.

“I wish each of you a rewarding, rich life, overflowing with happiness,” she said, sharing the poem “Climb Until You Reach Your Dreams” by Helen Steiner Rice.

Several scholarships were presented. Between Class Night on Thursday and graduation night, class members received nearly $180,000 in scholarships, said Sadie Shaw, guidance director and Class of 2023 adviser.

Senior Delaney McKeen offered a song to her fellow classmates. Boulier, York, Shaw and SAD 42 School Board Chair Fred Boyd presented diplomas.

At the ceremony’s conclusion, seniors turned their tassels, signifying their official status as 2023 graduates.