DIXFIELD – Faculty and friends filled the gymnasium at Dirigo High School Friday night as 71 graduates marched in led by class marshals Jazmine Brooks and James Moulton.

They sat under a banner that read, “Our lives are before us, our past is behind us, but our memories are forever with us.”

This motto was the theme carried throughout the evening as Adam Law and Carrie Jamison gave a brief history of their four years at Dirigo. Law ended by saying, “Go on and be great, don’t be scared, and always remember where you came from.”

Valedictorian Alison Gill challenged her class by saying, “This step is the beginning of the rest of our lives. It is up to you to make your life all you want it to be.”

Ben McCollister challenged the class to run life’s race in such a way as to get the prize. Colby Knapp thanked the parents and assured them that the graduates would always know where home was.

Kristen Bernard received a standing ovation for her moving rendition of “When You Say Nothing at All” by Allison Krauss.

Principal Daniel Hart delivered his thanks to students, parents and SAD 21 for letting him be part of the Dirigo spirit. Next year, Hart will move to Telstar High School in Andover, where he will serve as principal. He proudly announced that 80 scholarships were given to 50 worthy students for a total of $58,000.

Among those receiving the awards were John Bissell for music, Shiloh Felt for art, Samantha Webster for science, BJ McCollister for social studies, Chris Cronin for world languages and Adam Law and Brittany Palmer for English.

The top 10 scholars were Jeremy Bellegarde, Andrew Colpitts, Shiloh Felt, Kaitlin Garabedian, Alyson Gill, Kayla Hinkley, Adam Law, Brittany Palmer, Katie Waite and Kristina White.

Some of the top students have already been accepted into the colleges of their choice to study in the fields of education, business and medicine. Some were undecided as to which major they wished to follow, and one planned to go into the work force.

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