BUCKFIELD — Buckfield Junior-Senior High awarded diplomas Saturday night to 30 graduates, including four exchange students from Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand and Spain.

Buckfield Junior-Senior High School Class of 2019 exchange student Soyoung Park presents a rose during the ceremony to her host parents John and Sarah Bernard. Rumford Falls Times photo by Marianne Hutchinson

In her speech, valedictorian Margaret Bragg told of how her father and coaches had taught her to be “Buckfield Tough,” which means being resilient and never giving up, no matter the circumstances.

Bragg told her classmates of when she had joined her sister’s softball team. When Bragg was injured while playing and started to cry, her father said: “‘Mags, you need to get up, wipe your tears and get back out there and play. Your team needs you. You can’t sit here crying and let your team play a man down.’”

“This is the definition of ‘Buckfield Tough,’” Bragg said. “We get up and we keep going, not because we want to but because we need to.”

Salutatorian Jenna Doucette’s highlighted many of the special moments she has shared with classmates over the years, including their seventh-grade retreat, when they swam, canoed, played volleyball and cooked together.

Doucette said one of the most important experiences of their time together was the class trip to Disney World.

“There’s no doubt that it brought us together more than ever before,” Doucette said.

Buckfield Junior-Senior High School Salutatorian of the class of 2019 Jenna Doucette receives her diploma at the high school on Saturday evening. Rumford Falls Times photo by Marianne Hutchinson

She also noted the four exchange students in the class: Phimraphat Soonjun, Sophia Martinez Soriano, Soyoung Park and Quang Vu Phu Bui.

“They certainly made my senior year better,” Doucette said.

Hannah Shields, the class president, also spoke of special memories from as far back as grade school or as recent as the senior class trip to Florida.

“We would not be here,” Shields said, “without the support of our parents, coaches, teachers, advisers and family and friends.”

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