Senior Derek Salisbury, left, smiles as he and the 27 other seniors of Buckfield Junior-Senior High School’s Class of 2017 walk into the school’s gymnasium at the start of the graduation ceremony on Saturday.

BUCKFIELD — A little over an hour after the Buckfield Junior-Senior High School graduation began, after all of the speeches and songs ended, the 28 graduating seniors stood up, turned their tassels, and in the time-honored tradition of graduations before, threw their caps into the air.

The toss ended and evening where graduates were advised by their peers and teachers to embrace change and refuse to be hindered by limitations.

Valedictorian Laney Randolph told classmates to embrace the end of their high school career, because “if we had no endings, we’d have no beginnings.”

She admitted she hates endings, and will “leave the last chapter in a book unread or the last episode of her favorite television shows unwatched.”

However, she said that everyone should remember that “endings are important, (because they) allow us to reflect on what we’ve been through.”

“We learn, we improve and we keep moving forward,” Randolph said.

She ended her speech with four pieces of advice.

“First, take on new challenges, but know when it’s time to step back,” Randolph said.

“Second, work hard for change, but if the change isn’t for the best, figure out how to make it better,” she said.

“Third, it’s not necessarily your brain that will make you successful,” Randolph said. “It’s hard work.

“And lastly, make sure whatever you are putting into the world, whether big or small, improves it,” she said. 

Salutatorian Mae Kolln urged the graduates to “go out there and be greatly accomplished.”

She thanked the teachers and staff “who were with us five days a week, more than six hours a day, and for the last four years.”

With a smile on her face, Kolln also thanked “the inventors of Google, Wikipedia and copy-and-pasting.”

Coach Kyle Rines advised graduates that their lives are “limitless” and to remember that while “the world may want to label you, judge you and place limitations on you, you are braver, bolder and more beautiful than any limits the world tries to place on you.”

The graduation began with a rendition of the national anthem by Randolph, Caitlin Buswell, Cheyanne Goroshin, S. Mike Henderson, Derek Salisbury and Rachel Warren.

Throughout the evening, Randolph, Kolln and Henderson sang songs by Miranda Lambert, Kelly Clarkson and Josh Groban, respectively.

The graduates also participated in the Presentation of Roses, a tradition where each student is given a bundle of roses to give to people who are important to them and made an impact in their life.

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Senior Shawn Michael Henderson Jr., left, stands with Buckfield coach Kyle Rines while they for a photo Saturday evening at the Buckfield Junior-Senior High School graduation. Henderson sang a rendition of “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban, while Rines was the guest speaker for the Class of 2017.


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