56 students graduate from Fort Kent High School

2 weeks ago

FORT KENT, Maine – Fort Kent graduates looked toward the future and reflected on their experiences as students during the Class of 2024 graduation ceremony on June 7.

Fort Kent Principal John Kaleta opened the ceremony, and encouraged students to maintain a positive attitude amid life’s challenges.

“Embrace positive energy, even in difficult times,” he said.

Kaleta also encouraged students to look for the best in every person they encounter, and to always look for the goodness in others. He also said they should accept help when it’s needed.

“No one has all the answers, and seeking help is a sign of strength,” he said. “Be open to guidance, advice and support from those who care about you. Throughout my career, I relied on the wisdom and support of colleagues, friends and family.”

Kaleta introduced the first of three student speakers, Isaiah Berry, who spoke about core values and lessons learned through his experience as a student.

Above all, he said teachers have instilled in them the lesson to care for others, and to make sure none of their core values are extinguished. Berry shared the acronym “love,” to explain the outlook of his class.

The letter “L,” is for light, as in being a light for others. “O” is to make sure everything within their peers’ reach is obtainable. The letter “V” is versatile, as each person is fighting their own battles. And, lastly, the “E” stands for eccentric. 

“We’re all eccentric,” he said. “Whatever we believe in, and no matter what people say about our class, we are accepting of whatever is thrown at us, whether it’s an issue or conflict.”

Berry concluded that, with this said, the class of 2024, is the definition of love. He said it defines the love they have for each other, the school, staff, and the community around them.

Speaker Maxwell Bois recognized the hard work of the school’s staff in shaping each member of the graduating class.

“From the janitors, who kept our hallways clean and the soccer field mowed, to the cafeteria workers who kept us fed, each and every one of them played a crucial role in shaping our high school experience,” he said, “And for that, we are forever grateful.”

He said one of the most important aspects of high school is its emphasis on development and personal growth.

“We learned that true success is not measured by the grades we earned and the trophies we win, but by the impact on the world around us and the lives we touch along the way,” Bois said.

Student speaker Hannah Lovley also thanked teachers and staff, and discussed the importance of hard work and dedication.

“Nothing in this world is going to be handed to you,” she said. “You have to make things happen, and you have to put in the hard work. Michael Phelps once said, ‘I don’t think goals should be easy. They should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.’”

Lovley said future opportunities are often disguised as hard work. She also emphasized the importance of having a support system.

“No matter how independent you think you may be, as I like to think I am, I’m a better person because of the people that surround me,” she said.

She said she believes in each of her classmates, and that they all matter and are important.

“Choose happiness,” Lovley concluded. “Work hard, surround yourself with a support system, and know you have the power within yourself and the potential to be successful. Thank you.”