Graduate Dakota Waterman hugs his mother, Naomi Francis, on Saturday after handing her and his father, Shannon Francis, a rose during the Buckfield Junior-Senior High School graduation ceremony. 

BUCKFIELD — Valedictorian Seneca Jacobs urged her 39 fellow graduates Saturday evening during her valedictory address at the Class of 2018 Buckfield Junior-Senior High School graduation to find their passion and to stay true to who they are.

Jacobs said that without the support from “our teachers, the staff, and our family, we wouldn’t be here today.”

As an example of how her family assisted her throughout her education, Jacobs said that her mother “made me do school work in the summer,” but “made it fun and interesting.”

“I actually enjoyed it,” Jacobs said. “While that may not sound fun to most people, it made me who I am today.”

She ended her speech by telling the graduates to “stay true to yourselves, even though it’s easier said than done.”

“It’s your life, so go out and live it,” Jacobs said.

Salutatorian Madison Porter said that “without passion and perseverance, it would be impossible for us to achieve anything.”

She added that it’s “the challenges we face that shape us into who we are. We all have grit, which is how we ended up on this stage today,” she said to the graduates. “We need to continue to persevere, whether you’re going to college, into the military, into a trade, or a job. You’ve done it before and you can do it again.”

Before the graduates received their diplomas, Rachel Warren sang a song, followed by a group vocal performance of “The Scientist” by the band Coldplay by Warren, Caitlin Buswell, Andrew Warren, Atticus Gonsalves and Mitchell Porter.

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

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