Valedictorian Alice Cockerham, right, and class marshal Mila Long-Frost wait for the start of the Mt. Abram High School graduation Friday night in Salem Township. Fifty seniors received their diplomas as hundreds of family, friends, teachers and others watched. Valerie Tucker photo

SALEM TOWNSHIP — Hundreds of well-wishers packed the Mt. Abram High School auditorium to cheer School Administrative District 58’s graduating class Friday night.

The 50 seniors first gathered in the library to say their farewells to teachers and staff members.

Opening the ceremonies, senior Margaret Veilleux sang the national anthem to rousing applause.

Valedictorian Alice Cockerham addressed classmates and the audience, admitting that when she was a freshman, she was already “itching to graduate.”

“Little did I know this place would shape me into the person I am today,” she said. “I’ve met some of my best friends here.”

Cockerham, daughter of Jim and Brenna Cockerham, will pursue a government degree at Bates College in Lewiston.

Salutatorian Benjamin Butterfield shared similar thoughts, noting that he and his classmates weren’t the most mature and sophisticated freshmen four short years ago. They were facing challenges and different paths, but they should never forget their years together, he said.

“We cannot always choose where we start from,” he said. “But we can choose where we finish.”

Butterfield, son of Sheila and Robert Butterfield, will attend Maine Maritime Academy in Castine to pursue a degree in marine systems engineering.

Of the 50 graduates, 33 will attend college or a technical school, including the University of Maine System or state community colleges. One graduate plans to enter the military, and 13 plan to enter the workforce.

Principal Michele Tranten presented seniors with 135 local or state scholarships totaling $119,128.


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