Senior Sammantha Macomber urges classmates to appreciate life as it comes to them during the Dirigo High School graduation Friday evening in Dixfield. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

The Dirigo High School senior chorus sings Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” at graduation ceremonies Friday night at the school in Dixfield. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

Dirigo High School senior Katelyn Ellis performs “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert at graduation ceremonies Friday evening at the school in Dixfield. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

Members of the Class of 2018 at Dirigo High School switch their tassels to signify they have graduated Friday evening at the school in Dixfield. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

Evelyn Skibitsky is presented her diploma by Dirigo High School Principal Michael Poulin at Friday evening’s graduation ceremonies. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

DIXFIELD — Regional School Unit 56 officials handed out 56 diplomas to seniors Friday night during the first commencement since the district was officially formed last summer.

Senior Rachel Dolloff said it was only fitting that they were the first class to graduate, because “throughout our education journey, we’ve been trailblazers.”

She said they entered kindergarten the year Peru merged with SAD 21 and Canton Elementary School closed. They were also the first group to enter Dirigo High School on a trimester schedule.

“This taught us to be resilient, to roll with the punches and to take care of each other in the process,” Dolloff said.

Canton, Carthage, Dixfield and Peru voters decided to withdraw from Regional School Unit 10 and to operate their own district starting July 1, 2017.

Change was the message senior Sammantha Macomber brought to the crowd in the high school’s DeFoe Gymnasium.

“Life never goes how you want it,” she said. “You may want your career to be something, then you end up somewhere totally different.”

Comparing life to driving on a road, Macomber said there are obstacles but you can keep driving until you get somewhere you like.

“You must always, always enjoy the ride to your destination,” she said. “Never overlook a moment, a small moment, a big moment, or anything in between.” 

She quoted Andy from the TV show “The Office:” “‘You never know when these moments become the good old days.’ So appreciate life as it comes to you. Appreciate everything in it. We are the authors of our stories. These are our books that we are writing.” 

The senior chorus sang Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” during the festivities. 

Following graduation exercises, most of the students boarded buses for a Project Graduation trip to Lotus Restaurant in Auburn, then on to Spare Time Entertainment in Portland.

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