SALEM TOWNSHIP — Whether it’s in the classroom, on the soccer field or in their community, the top two students in the Class of 2016 at Mt. Abram High School always put forth their best effort.

Valedictorian Courtland Talmage of Kingfield and salutatorian Bailey DeBiase of Carrabassett Valley took time out of their busy schedules recently to reflect upon their years at Mt. Abram and what the future will hold. Talmage said he was “very excited” about earning the top spot in the class and that being the top-ranked student academically was a goal of his.

“I was excited, too,” DeBiase said. “Last year, I was sixth, so I didn’t know I was going to move up that much.”

Talmage will attend Bowdoin College in the fall for a degree in computer science. He said he wants to move to California after completing his degree.

DeBiase will attend Wheaton College and will major in psychology, with a minor in art. She plans to go for a master’s degree and have a career in art therapy.

During his time at Mt. Abram, Talmage has been a member of the National Honor Society and a member of the Student Council, where he is the senior class treasurer. He’s played varsity soccer for four years, skied his freshman and sophomore years and has been on the track team for four years.

DeBiase has played varsity soccer for four years, skied her freshman and sophomore years, played softball her first three years, and this year is on the track team. She’s also a member of the National Honor Society, has served on the Student Council and is the senior class secretary. She also participated in the girls’ book club for one year.

Outside school, Talmage has volunteered with Western Maine Youth Soccer. He also skis a lot and has a part-time job.

DeBiase also has coached soccer. She volunteered at the American Junior Golf Association golf tournament at Sugarloaf for a few summers, and she has a part-time job. When she has spare time, she likes to play golf.

Asked about some of the people responsible for their academic success, Talmage mentioned his parents, David and Julie Talmage. “My mom pushed me pretty hard,” he said.

“Definitely my parents (John and Andrea DeBiase),” DeBiase said, “and my little brother, teachers, and the school community, also.”

Asked about what he will miss most at Mt. Abram, Talmage said, “All the people, the teachers.” He then added, “I will not miss playing soccer in snow.”

“I would say basically the same thing,” DeBiase said. “With a small school, you know everyone really well. It’s cool to know everyone in the whole school.”

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