Buckfield valedictorian, salutorian to tell of small-school advantages

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BUCKFIELD — Brittany Wiley and Kristen MacBride believe their small school has prepared them well for the future. Good friends throughout their years in the Buckfield school system, they will tell their fellow classmates about the advantages of close relationships with their teachers and friends at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School.

Brittany, as valedictorian, and Kristen, as salutatorian, will speak at the June 12 high school graduation as just over 40 young people receive their diplomas. Their grades were separated by only .03 of a point.

Britanny told herself when she began high school that she wanted to earn all A’s. That’s exactly what she did, as well as earn only A’s all the way up through the grades.

To do that, she said she pushed herself,

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“Don’t let anyone set your limits,” she said, aiming the comment to undergraduates.

“In a small school, you get one-on-one attention. If you have any difficulty, it’s easy to get help,” she said.

Studying hasn’t been her only activity during her high school years. She’s a member of the National Honor Society, she performs in the school’s musicals, plays piano, studies dance, plays softball and sings in the glee club.

She also attends Buckfield Community Church and participates in the youth group at Faith Bible Chapel.

She plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing at St. Joseph’s College in Standish.

Her father, Michael, is a nurse, and Britanny has job shadowed him.

“I want to interact with and help people,” she said.

Kristen has been accepted into a five-year master’s degree program in math and general education, with a minor in dance, at the University of Maine.

She had thought of majoring in engineering, but decided instead to teach math, which means, she said, that she’ll be teaching people to be engineers.

She credits math teacher Barbara Worthley’s passion for math as her inspiration.

“There is so much you can do with it,” she said.

One of those things is an irrigation system for the school’s community garden currently under creation. The high school physics class is working on that right now, she said.

Kristen wants to teach in a rural school.

“The teachers cater to you and know the learning styles,” she said.

Kristen is a member of the National Honor Society, is in her 15th year of studying dance, serves as Sunday School director at the Hartford Community Church and Vacation Bible School, sings in the school’s glee club and performs in the school’s musicals.

She plans to attend a dance camp in Pittsfield as well as serve in a mission group from her church to Buffalo, N.Y., where she will work with refugee children during the summer.

Brittany hopes to find a job to save money for college and spend more time with her family before leaving for college.

Brittany is the daughter of Michael and Darcy Wiley of Buckfield. She is the oldest of four children.

Kristen is the daughter of Carol MacBride of Hartford.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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