By Valerie Tucker, Special to the Sun Journal

SALEM TOWNSHIP — Courage and laughter were words of advice given to the Class of 2018 at Mt. Abram High School as they received their diplomas Friday night.

“Always have the courage to write the narrative you long for,” Valedictorian Kelsey Wood said.

Throughout high school, others got to write students’ stories, she said, but after graduation students can start writing their own.

The daughter of Andrew and Melissa Wood of Madrid Township will begin writing the next chapter of her story as she attends the University of Maine at Farmington to study actuarial science.

Salutatorian Kaitlyn Jansky, daughter of Paul Jansky and Vicki Riordon of Strong, will also attend UMF, to study psychology.


“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in high school, it’s the true strength of humor,” Jansky told the audience. Laughing away stress, she said, will be a valuable tool for coping with life’s inevitable challenges and setbacks.

The 39 graduates also got advice from their principal.

“Say please and thank you,” Michelle Tranten told them. And referring to a poem by Robert Frost, she said, “Remember to take the road less traveled.”

Nearly $202,000 was awarded to 29 students pursuing higher education.

Tranten, Superintendent Susan Pratt and senior class advisers Marla Farris, Isaac Raymond, Lanie Roy and Rebecca Reuter handed out diplomas.

Class Marshals Benjamin Butterfield and Alice Cockerham led the procession of classmates to the ceremony. Hailee Rowe sang the national anthem.

Salutatorian Kaitlyn Jansky addresses the Class of 2018 at the Mt. Abram High School graduation Friday night in Salem Township. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in high school, it’s the true strength of humor,” she said. (Valerie Tucker photo)

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