PARIS — Former 2nd District Congressman Mike Michaud, D-Maine, said he intends to tell the 2015 Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School graduates there are no limits to what they can accomplish.

“I want to encourage graduates to go after whatever they want,” Michaud said in a telephone interview Friday. “Don’t let the naysayers say you can’t do anything. You can do anything if you put your mind to it.”

Principal Ted Moccia announced at a recent School Administrative District 17 directors meeting that Michaud accepted the invitation to speak at the graduation ceremony. It’s set for 7 p.m. Saturday, June 6, at the Gouin Athletic Complex on Alpine Street.

Michaud has family connections in Oxford Hills. A nephew who lives in the area and a great-nephew attends Rowe Elementary School in Norway and another attends Oxford Hills Middle School in Paris.

Michaud has spent time in Oxford Hills talking to students about his beginnings in the mill town of Medway, which he compares to the Norway and Paris area, his two decades with the Great Northern Paper Co., his rise in local politics and election to the U.S. Congress.

“A lot of people said I couldn’t do it because I lived in the wrong part of the state,” he said. “I wasn’t a millionaire, I wasn’t an attorney, there’s no way that a mill worker was going to get elected to the U.S. Congress,” Michaud told a group of Oxford Hills Middle School students in December 2013.

In his 12 years representing the 2nd District, Michaud became known as an advocate for veterans and for fair-trade policies, issues he continues to work on following his departure from Washington in December. He said he is also continuing to help move a plan forward to overhaul the Veterans Administration in Washington that he and his staff presented before he left office.

According to newspaper reports, Michaud was elected to the Student Council at Schenck High School in East Millinocket, was statistician for the basketball team and earned the senior class award for “friendliest” student, among other achievements.

Asked if he remembers who his high school commencement speaker was he was stumped.

“I don’t. He or she must have talked too long,” he said.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: