SALEM TOWNSHIP — The packed auditorium at Mt. Abram High School cheered the 66 graduates as they shared one last evening together.

An hour before the ceremony began, students gathered in the library to say goodbye to teachers, staff members and each other.

“I’m really nervous, but I’m really excited, too,” one young woman told her friends as they helped each other adjust mortar boards and tassels.

After Hailee Rowe opened ceremonies with a stirring rendition of the national anthem, valedictorian Brooke-Lynn Hinkley and her sister and salutatorian Brianna Hinkley shared the reading of the graduation speech.

They remembered listening, as freshmen, as social studies teacher Tina Brackley read from the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”

“You have brains in your head; you have feet in your shoes; you can steer yourself any direction you choose,” the two told their classmates.

Students clapped enthusiastically when Brooke-Lynn and Brianna said one of the most important people in this senior class’ life was guidance secretary Laura White. Students over the past four years had weathered some tough times, watching as several beloved teachers left the school district.

“We lost some amazing teachers, and some remarkable new ones came to fill their space,” they said.

The Hinkley sisters will attend the University of Maine at Farmington in the fall. They are the daughters of Carolynn and Warren Hinkley of Kingfield.

Of the 66 graduates, 51 have plans to attend college or technical school. Many have been accepted into the University of Maine System and will go to Farmington, Orono and Southern Maine. Several will attend community colleges in different parts of the state. Two will enter the military and 13 plan to enter the workforce.

Mt. Abram High School senior and valedictorian Brooke-Lynn Hinkley accepts a legislative sentiment from Rep. Tom Skolfield, R-Weld, for her outstanding academic achievements during her four years as a student. Her sister, salutatorian Brianna Hinkley, center, shares the stage at the graduation ceremonies on Friday evening.


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