AUBURN — Zachary Roy and his crew want to remember everything they can about their graduation from Saint Dominic Academy. Why depend on fallible human memory when there’s so much technology on hand?

Before the start of the Friday night commencement, Roy strapped a GoPro camera to his chest, meaning to shoot video and capture each moment in precise detail. His buddy Justin Curtis had a similar camera strapped to his forehead where it peered out just beneath his cap.

“And we’ve got another one set up on a tripod in front of the stage,” said Roy, a photographer who started his own business. “I just thought it would be cool to get all these different points of view.”

Easier said than done, of course. With the madness and merriment of the night in full swing, jumping, bumping and hugging wouldn’t be all that conducive to photography.

“I’ve just got to keep still,” Curtis said, with the eye of the camera just above his brow. “I can’t be whipping my head around.”

Saint Dom’s 70th commencement got underway Friday night in the usual way, with students, teachers and parents cramming the rooms and halls of the academy.

In the main hallway, soccer player and javelin thrower Robert Pallozzi hugged every student and teacher who came his way. Other students spent the time adjusting their gowns or gathering in small groups to take fast photos with cellphones.

“We made it,” one student said while a classmate helped adjust his hat. “We actually made it.”

The more official photo shoot followed and then it was time for the 49 students to say goodbye to their high school days. As is usually the case, Principal Donald Fournier was emotional about sending more students off to their futures.

“This senior class is and will always be very special to me,” Fournier said in his address. “I have watched them grow and become young adults through all of their classes, special events and athletic contests. I have been proud to see them handle adversity as well as accomplishments and they will always have a very special place in my heart, and I thank you for that.”

As usual, there was no shortage of achievements for the principal to list.

For the past semester, the entire senior class logged nearly 5,000 hours of volunteer work at 27 nonprofit schools and institutions throughout the Lewiston, Auburn and Augusta areas.

For starters.

“You graduates have, valiantly and with great commitment, carried on some of the proudest traditions of St. Dom’s, including winning a state championship in golf, making the playoffs in soccer, basketball and cheering, being in the hunt for state championships in ice hockey, tennis and baseball and presenting a very engaging production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.'”

Then there were the 17 students who gave up their weekends and spring breaks in to minister in Mississippi. A second group of seniors spent their vacations attending to the needs of people in one of the poorest sections of Appalachia in West Virginia.

“Your hard work,” Fournier told the group, “is clearly evident in that you have received hundred of thousands of dollars in scholarships from colleges across the country.”

As he does every year, the principal had something to say about each student collecting his or her diploma. A phenomenal actor here, a talented poet and martial artist there and a brilliant writer and thinker in between.

“Humble, intelligent and gracious,” is how he described Valedictorian Callie Greco, winner of the Maine Prinicpals’ Honor Award, the Biological Science Award and the Rainbow Federal Credit Union Religion Award. “She is truly a gentle soul, but can give as good as she gets.”

“She is considerate and exemplary,” he said of Salutatorian Meagan Ring, winner of the Alfred A. Plourde Memorial Leadership Scholarship and the Andrew J. Paione Memorial School Spirit Award, “always smiling and positive, a great cross country runner, a kind and gentle person who never had anything bad to say about anyone.”

On and on until all 49 students had collected their diplomas and moved on. Fournier did his best to say goodbye to all of them, while also bidding farewell to longtime superintendent Rosemary Donahue, who’s stepping down from that position after 21 years.

“Sister Rosemary has been a leader, a guide, a friend and a constant supporter of everything we do here at St. Dom’s, and indeed, of Catholic education in Maine,” Fournier said.


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