Bridget Rowley streamed the Dirigo High School graduation ceremony in Dixfield Friday night to her stepbrother, Andrew Cayer, who watched from his hospital bed at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

The Dirigo High School senior chorus sings “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus during commencement exercises Friday evening in Dixfield.

DIXFIELD — Dirigo High School senior Andrew Cayer watched from his hospital bed in Portland on Friday night as his classmates received their diplomas.

“Andrew, we miss you, we’re thinking about you, get well soon,” Principal Michael Poulin said, as Cayer’s stepsister, Bridget Rowley live streamed the commencement via her phone to Cayer’s phone.

“We’ve got this waiting for you when you get back,” Poulin said.

 Cayer was admitted to the hospital Thursday for surgery, Poulin said.

“We wanted to make sure we recognized him tonight,” he said.

Cayer received a standing ovation.


He is one of 60 members of the Class of 2017 who received diplomas in DeFoe Gymnasium.

Valedictorian Nicole Whitman, in her address titled “Open Arms,” said, “I hope, in the event of your success, we remember to remain humble and genuine, generous and compassionate.”

“We have all been helped along the way, in some form or another, and our times of prosperity are absolutely the times to give back,” she said.

Whitman said, “In the face of adversity, I hope that we all are kind. I hope we can persevere in all aspects, conquering the obstacles in our paths while also possessing the ability to perpetuate our strong moral character through moments of hardship.”

She closed by noting, “I hope that no matter what adversity we face, or how successful we become, we all remember that we come from a tightknit Dirigo community. We will always be welcomed home with open arms.”

Following hugs and congratulations after the ceremony, the class was bused to their Project Graduation party at Aero Air Park in Lewiston.

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