RANGELEY – The 28 members of the Rangeley Lakes Regional School Class of 2009 graduated Saturday in a ceremony at the school.

“I know the way I feel and the way many of my classmates feel,” said Valedictorian Cassondra Elliott in her address at Saturday’s graduation ceremony. “On the one hand, it has taken a long time to get here, and on the other hand, it’s gone by so quickly.”

Elliott told a story of the class bonding during a trip to Camp Kieve.

“A lesson taken from that experience is that it’s important to be open with people and share one another’s feelings,” she said.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass,” she said. “It’s about dancing in the rain.”

Salutatorian Brittany Wetherill pointed out that getting a high school diploma is at once exciting and intimidating.

However, Wetherill also said that the class is prepared to face future challenges because they have been forced to confront their own weaknesses and have learned to think independently.

“There are a lot of moments when we were selfish and spoiled and rotten,” she said. “But we know better. We can do better. We have it in us to be kind, caring adults.”

Music teacher Erin Smith said in her commencement address that to fully appreciate life, you must step out of your comfort zone on occasion and be willing to accept the valleys that come with life’s peaks.

“Life is not easy and life isn’t fair,” Smith said. “Life is what you make it. Smile, laugh. Don’t be afraid to look stupid once in a while.”

Quinn Philbrick and Samantha Olivieri were presented with the Distinguished Athlete award for their efforts on the soccer field, basketball court and baseball diamond. Wetherill and David van Soeren won awards for academic excellence.

Class advisor Fernlyn Philbrick was recognized for her efforts in making this a successful and happy year for the seniors. The yearbook was dedicated to the late Dulcy Rogers for caring for the town’s children even during a prolonged illness, and to teacher Miriam Emami, who has been greatly missed at school as she cares for her young daughter, who has Down syndrome.


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