RUMFORD – Mountain Valley High School graduates and Principal Matt Gilbert exchanged white Ping-Pong balls marked with fun quotes for diplomas, carrying on a gift-giving tradition.

Many of the 123 graduates are leaving the River Valley area in August to attend major colleges and universities across the nation.

“This graduating class was just an unbelievably great class,” Gilbert said after the one-hour ceremony. “They’re just an unbelievable collection of kids who are very humble and, academically, very strong. They’ve won state championships, they’ve gone down to New Orleans to do relief work and they’re just a great group. And, their parents were all very active and involved positively with this class.”

In her senior address, Mollie Kaubrys identified her classmates as scholars, athletes, dancers, musicians, artists, go-getters, procrastinators, leaders and go-with-the-flow-ers.

“It is time for us to move on,” Kaubrys said. “Our lives have been revolving around this high school for the past four years, and now, each one of us will take our own course. We will be out in the ‘real world,’ which is both exciting and terrifying.”

She told her classmates they were about to embark on the next chapter of their lives.

“It’s time for us to take what we have learned and hope that we make the right decisions. They say that our generation is going to change the world. Judging by our class, I know that we are going to change it for the better.

“So, congratulations, Class of 2008. We did it!” Kaubrys said to loud applause.

After diplomas were presented, the graduates stood and loudly sang their class song, Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).”

See more Mountain Valley coverage on Page C6

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