RUMFORD – Cassie Clement and Chelsea Paterson have been best buds for years.
And when they march at the Mountain Valley High School graduation on June 10, they’ll have a special sash.
The two friends are valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2006. Cassie achieved a weighted final grade of 100.48, and Chelsea came in with 99.48.
They have taken turns being tops in their class since their freshman year.
“I’m not No. 1 because I’m the smartest, but because I’ve worked so hard,” said Cassie.
She, too, has worked hard over the years, and both young women are always full of questions.
“Our teachers might sometimes want to run away when we come into the classroom after school,” Cassie said.
Cassie is the daughter of Kim and Gary Clement of Rumford. She plans to attend the University of Maine in the fall with a major in communication science and disorders. She’d eventually like to earn a master’s degree in speech therapy.
She has been a peer helper, National Honor Society member, class officer and yearbook member, among other activities over the years.
She also loves music and dance.
Her final recital was last weekend as part of Stephany Jacques’ Dance Studio. She may join the dance team at Orono in the future and plans to continue taking lessons. She’s a pianist, as well.
Cassie said she never intended to do anything with her dance. It’s an interest that is fun and a major stress reliever.
“I work so hard at school that it’s fun to go to dance lessons,” she said.
She attributes her good work habits to a sense of always doing what she was supposed to do.
“I knew if I worked hard enough, I could get to where I’ve gotten,” she said. “My parents never pressured me. I was always self-motivated. There are so many kids who waste their potential. They need to recognize that it’s possible to get things out of hard work.”
Chelsea is the daughter of Diane and Eddie Paterson of Rumford. She plans to attend either Northeastern University in Boston or the University of New England in Westbrook with a major in nursing. She hopes to eventually specialize in pediatrics or become a nurse anesthetist.
She was in the youth ministry while at St. Athanasius and St. John School, has been a member of the student council and National Honor Society, and plays softball, among other activities. She also loves dance.
“From elementary school through high school I’ve always tried to do my best. I knew in the end it would be worth it,” she said.
Both girls also decided that they may be perfectionists.
“It becomes second nature to work hard,” Chelsea said.
“Why write a paper at all if it’s not your best?” Cassie added.
Cassie has a younger sister, Kiley, in ninth grade; Chelsea has two younger sisters, McKenzie and Delaney, in sixth- and seventh- grades.