PARIS — More than 4,000 students, staff and parents in the Oxford Hills School District turned out for the annual Aspire Higher parade Tuesday morning.

Students and staff from the eight schools in SAD 17 and their families were invited to walk from Oxford Hills Middle School on Pine Street to Oxford Hills Comprehensive School on Main Street.

Students who participate are eligible to enter a drawing for a $100 scholarship donated by local businesses. It is to be used for higher education after graduating from high school.

This year, $65,000 in scholarships will be awarded at school Aspire Higher assemblies.

Superintendent Rick Colpitts called Tuesday’s parade a great success. He said more parents turned out this year and more people lined the streets to watch.

The Aspire Higher Committee, consisting of members from the Oxford Hills School District and the Oxford Hills community, organize the parade and scholarships.

Former Superintendent Mark Eastman initiated the idea 15 years ago as part of the district’s aspirations campaign. It encourages students and their families to think about their future after high school and how secondary education could play a vital role in their success. There were about 75 participants in the parade the first year.

SAD 17 includes the towns of Paris, Norway, Oxford, Otisfield, Harrison, Waterford, West Paris and Hebron.

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