FARMINGTON — It’s been “one long and exhilarating ride” for Mt. Blue High School’s Class of 2017, according to class speaker and secretary Makao Thompson.

On Sunday afternoon, 147 students reached a big checkpoint in life — high school graduation.

Principal Bruce Mochamer opened the ceremony with three challenges to the graduates: be kind, be a positive change in the world and be human. 

On being kind, Mochamer told the students, “Don’t be the news — be the good news story.”

To be a positive change in the world, Mochamer reminded the students to make the best of each day, because “at the end of the day, you will never get that day back.”

Finally, he urged the class to be human and make connections.


“Take the time to sit and talk to other people,” Mochamer said.

Anna Dunbar, one of the students chosen to speak, said it was the Class of 2017’s desire to connect with each other and themselves that made them unique.

Her emotional speech, in which she spoke of the long car rides to and from school every day with her dad, whom she called her best friend, earned a standing ovation from her classmates.

“It’s the little things in life you’ll remember,” she said.

Class speaker Elizabeth Burke chose to say goodbye in her speech to the class.

“Some things we’ll miss; others we’ll be happy to leave behind,” said Burke, who also received a standing ovation after her tearful thank-you to Mochamer, in which she said he’d “done a marvelous job leading our class to graduation.”

Each speech was followed by a musical performance, one of which featured Maggie Hickey, valedictorian and class president, on the violin and Julia Ramsey, class marshal and vice president, singing “Avant je dois aller” by Steve Muise.

Overall, it was an emotional day for Mt. Blue’s Class of 2017, with fond, tearful goodbyes to their educators and to each other — and it appeared that the graduates would indeed rise to their formal principal’s challenges.

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Class speaker Elizabeth Burke was the second student to speak at the Mt. Blue High School Class of 2017’s graduation on Sunday afternoon in the gymnasium in Farmington.

Maggie Hickey, class president of Mt. Blue’s Class of 2017, walks back to her seat after she was introduced as valedictorian at the graduation on Sunday afternoon in Farmington.

Julia Ramsey, class marshal and vice president, leads her class to their seats in the gymnasium during Mt. Blue’s Class of 2017 graduation on Sunday afternoon in Farmington.

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