LEWISTON — In a ceremony filled with smiles, song – even a little dance from their seats – 260 seniors graduated from Edward Little High School on Saturday night at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
Creative speeches were given by the top five students of the class. They themed their talks around the five senses.
Emily Dumont spoke of how hearing was important to their high school experience, how she knows she'll be hearing good things about the Class of 2010.
Hanna Mogensen's talked about touch, urging grads to keep in touch with those who have affected their lives. Common advice is to not lose touch with reality, but she advised: “Don't lose touch with the reality that anything you set your mind to is achievable.”
Timothy Brodsky remembered how familiar and everyday smells evoke memories, feelings of comfort. Sometimes we find out later it's the little things that are the big things, he said.
Salutatorian Rebecca Barton talked about taste. While many couldn't wait to get out of high school, leaving is sad, she said, “but sweet because we can almost taste the buffet of opportunities ahead of us.” Barton told classmates to make decisions based on what tastes sweet to them, “and avoid the bitter taste of regret.”
Valedictorian Sarah Olstein broke the mold with her lively speech, which she sang as a rap.
“Yo yo yo my name is Sarah O,” she sang, explaining in rapid-fire rap-style she'd be talking about sight.
“I used to think Auburn, Maine, was a boring place for living. I said nothing ever happens here and that's a fact. I can't wait to leave this town and never look back. But my mom would respond it's all about perspective ...”
Olstein urged graduates to keep an open mind and open eyes about what's around them, that what they see depends on their attitude. She wished them well.
“What do I see when I look at your faces? Beautiful homeys going beautiful places,” she sang. “Look toward the future, but don't forget to look back at the journey we had along the way.” She raised her voice for her final line saying, “Congrats to the class of 2010!”
That opened the mood for celebration.
All of the 260 seniors cheered and applauded, seemingly growing closer as a group. The song “I've Got a Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas played. As they sang the familiar lyrics, “tonight's gonna be a good night,” graduates swayed and danced where they stood, taking turns at hitting a beach ball when it came their way.
An army of cameras held by parents and friends flashed until the song ended.
Before they walked across the stage to receive their diplomas, Principal Jim Miller sent them off, asking if they felt the feeling in the building.
“The goosebumps," he said. "The tears. Build on this feeling and soar to new heights. For a world lies before you. It's yours to have. Sense it. Go get it. It's yours.”