LEWISTON – Edward Little High School students used nontraditional words to convey traditional themes in their addresses to fellow Class of 2009 graduates on Saturday night at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Emily K. Dodge, valedictorian, told classmates that though they may be sad about the end of high school, they’ll always have each other.

“My advice is not to think of it so much as leaving, but instead consider it a chance to step out on a solo expedition, able to return anytime we need a dose of the homeboys and homegirls who first gave you an idea of what home even was,” she said. “Let us always remember that although we may be facing an end, our homies will always have our backs.”

With tools such as Facebook and texting, it will be almost impossible not to stay in touch, said Salutatorian Neil C. Pomerleau.

“Holla!” he greeted his peers, before asking them to get up and give their parents a similar shout-out.

“We are an incredibly diverse class with incredibly diverse paths ahead of each of us, but no matter how far apart from each other those paths take us, we should never forget where we came from, we should never forget who helped us along the way and we should never forget to holla back,” he said.

Each of the five student speakers used humor weighed by gravity to pass their final messages on to fellow classmates, who showed their appreciation with laughter and applause.

An acoustic version of the class song, “Umbrella” by Rhianna, was performed on guitar and sung by Justin A. LeClair and Aiden N. Boardman, another crowd-pleaser.

Principal James H. Miller III abandoned the stage for his remarks, and wove in and out of the 256 seated graduates. He asked them to remember all the firsts in their life: the first time they went to school, the first time they got behind the wheel with their mothers in the car and the first time they got a report card.

“But a lot of your firsts haven’t happened yet, not by a long shot,” he said. “In fact, they are just starting. Every single day is a new day, a new time. So you see, these are all the first steps you’ve had, with many more to come.”

Scholarship announcements were followed by the awarding of diplomas by School Committee Chairman David H. Das and Superintendent Thomas Morrill.

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