Top crop of students quizzed about education

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Last week, the Rumford Falls Times honored a spring ritual: publication of the photos and credits of Mt. Valley High’s top 10 members of the Class of 2006.

Their bright good looks leapt off the page – each of them looking as I once felt, absolutely confident. (In my case, that sublime assurance was fleeting, but I remember it still.)

Not all 10 students were available to talk with me over the weekend. But I caught up with seven of them and asked these questions:

1. What was best about your high school years?

Unanimous response: friends and classmates, wonderful teachers, extracurricular activities.

Danielle Descoteaux was glad to leave middle school behind because in high school, “…there were possibilities and more people you have things in common with.”

Janessa Daigle summed it up: “I just enjoyed the atmosphere. It’s a small school, a warm environment.”

2. What was the worst, what would you change?

This was a silly question. Nobody had a complaint or wanted to change a thing about MVHS. T.J. Fournier did concede that he didn’t like the homework, “but nobody does.”

3. What are your biggest hopes and fears about college?

“I’m a little scared about the whole going-away-from-home part, but I’ll be fine,” Cassie Clement said. She’s off to Orono in September.

T.J. will be far from home come fall. He’ll attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona. His parents had second thoughts about the distance, but “they know it’s the right place for me.”

Cathy Finlay, who plays three kinds of clarinets and tenor saxophone and harmonica, will study music at the University of Southern Maine, her parents’ and MVHS music teacher Prescott’s alma mater. She knows the music program there is strong.

4. Where do you think you’ll go after college? Will you come back to the River Valley?

“…hopefully somewhere in Maine,” Kayla Bartlett said. “I’ve always liked it here, the lakes and mountains.”

“I don’t think I’d come back to Rumford, but somewhere in New England – not too far from home,” said Matt Papsadora, who likes to ski, hunt and fish.

5. Do you have a summer job lined up?

T.J. and Matt are already working, but others are still looking.

6. Siblings: do you have any? Will they miss you?

This got some giggles and a little rue.

Janessa Daigle has a 13-year-old sister who will miss her next fall, but “I’ll be gone 10 minutes and she’ll be in my room.”

Matt Papsadora conceded that his 13-year-old brother will miss him, but “he’ll steal my room.”

Sound familiar?

Alyssa Radmore, Chelsea Paterson and Joe Arsenault aren’t quoted here, but I’ll bet that like their top 10 peers, they have loved their high school years, can’t wait for September, know their siblings will miss them and raid their rooms.

Linda Farr Macgregor lives with her husband, Jim, in Rumford. She is a freelance writer and author of “Rumford Stories.”

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