DIXFIELD — The Dirigo High School Class of 2012 and Principal Michael Poulin started their Dirigo careers four years ago.

Now you’re leaving,” Poulin said as he congratulated the class on their achievements. “It’s been a privilege to be here as principal. It was the best professional decision I ever made to come here. You’ve made me very proud.”

Not only was Poulin proud to be a part of Friday’s graduation ceremony, but students said they were pleased and thankful to many for their four years.

The class motto was a statement made by President Barack Obama: “We did not come here to fear the future. We came here to shape it.”

Valedictorian Justin Mackin told the packed gym and his classmates that high school was an instrument for each student to shape their lives.

And it’s important to keep shaping our future. We are graduating not to fear the future, but to shape it,” he said.

He touted the community’s efforts to come together to try to save Dirigo High School when the school district recommended that Dirigo and nearby Mountain Valley merge.

They came together for something they believe in,” he said.

Coral Howe said earlier that not only did the class make it to graduation, but her generation will be part of running the country.

We are the future. This is your life,” she told classmates. “We live in a society where we can choose.”

Jason Haynes and Colleen Merrill thanked the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other adult influences in their lives for supporting them along the way, from primary school to high school.

All I want to do now is hug my family. I feel just as small and just as important as I did 12 years ago,” Haynes said.

The 58 graduates dressed in dark blue and light blue robes marched singly down the aisle of the gym. Some wore brown leather shoes, some high heels and some worn sneakers. Others sported new rhinestone flip-flops, not-yet-broken-in sneakers and new black sneakers with florescent orange laces.

All wore white carnations and an expression of anticipation.

Songs were sung by several students, including class President Makaila Statham, who later directed her classmates to move their tassels to the opposite side of their caps to signify they have graduated.

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