BUCKFIELD — Buckfield Junior-Senior High School valedictorian Elaine “Laney” Randolph and salutatorian Mae Kolln agreed that teachers were a major highlight of their high school years.

“We’ve had some really good teachers and some really good classes,” Randolph said.

She said Mike Nolette and Chandele Gray were her favorites.

“Actually, I’m going to do the same job that (Nolette) does after I get my degree, and be a social studies teacher,” Randolph said.

Nolette makes assignments fun and interesting and … Gray is really smart and really fun and teaches all of the sciences, Kolln said.

And she makes you want to work hard, Randolph added.

“We’ve both been involved in music since middle school, for six years,” Kolln said. And Ethan Wright “really connects with us on a kind of like, kid level.”

Randolph agreed, saying Wright “is an awesome teacher because he is really good at getting kids to love what they do. I’ve seen so many kids that weren’t interested in music take his classes and then love music and then join Glee (Club) and join Drama (Club).”

The two seniors also said that they enjoyed spending any free time in math teacher Allyson Holbrook’s room because “she’s awesome.”

Kolln described the room as peaceful and the teacher as “fun to be around.”

School kitchen manager Rossie Kyllonen and the whole lunch staff also were much appreciated by the women. “They are all so sweet and involved around the school. Rossie makes amazing food, Randolph said.

This fall Randolph plans to attend the University of Maine at Farmington as a secondary education social studies major.

“My favorite class has always been the social studies classes, but when we got assignments to talk about our own slide shows or whatever I always really looked forward to that day where I would get to talk about it in front of everyone,” she said. “So, I know that I love talking about this and I love trying to get people to understand it, so I figured I’d like to teach also.”

Kolln plans to attend Word of Life Bible Institute in New York this fall.

“Right now, I’m just planning on going for one year, but I just want to go there because it’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Kolln said. “I was originally going to go to Orono and be an engineer. I thought that was what I wanted to do, but after attending a youth rally in Connecticut at a Bible college down there I just really felt that it (was) put upon my heart to go into ministry,” Kolln said.

Following her year at the Bible institute, Kolln wants to work at a Bible camp that she has attended since she was about 8 years old. “I just really have the desire to work over there to really be using my life to serve God, basically. It’s just one of those things where when God says go, you go.”

Asked to what they attribute their success, the two mentioned several things.

“You kind of have to decide it’s what you want for your own reason,” Randolph said. “Like for me, I’ll be honest, I really wanted a lot of financial aid because I wouldn’t be able to afford college if I didn’t, and getting good grades really helped with those scholarships. And it kind of just became my work ethic; once you start a habit you continue it,” she said.

Kolln said, “My parents have always been a huge part of everything with my education and they’ve always encouraged me to do my best, and once I showed them what I was capable of they didn’t expect anything less of me. But it was also something I just really wanted. I don’t know, school always came easy to me.”

Both women belong to the National Honor Society; Kolln is president and Randolph is secretary.

Kolln played soccer from eighth grade to her junior year and was a member of the softball team this year. She was also in school musicals and plays the piano, flute, guitar, saxophone and clarinet.

She has been involved in her church since childhood and has attended many youth groups in Buffalo N.Y. to serve in soup kitchens and to help build homes for the needy.

Randolph has held lead roles in school plays and musicals since the sixth grade. She is a member of the Glee Club and Drama Club.

The Class of 2017 will graduate at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 10, in the school gym.

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Buckfield Junior-Senior High School Class of 2017 Valedictorian Elaine “Laney” Randolph, left, and Salutatorian Mae Kolln. BJSHS’s graduation date is June 10 at 6 p.m.


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