Spruce Mountain High School Class of 2019 Marshals Jonathan Brenner and Anna Bradford lead the seniors at the start of Sunday’s graduation. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

JAY — Spruce Mountain High School seniors were already embracing new challenges at their graduation Sunday.

At graduation Sunday, Spruce Mountain High School Class of 2019 Valedictorian Gabrielle Beaudoin told her classmates to ‘show up.’ Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

In addressing their classmates, valedictorian Gabrielle Beaudoin and salutatorian Lilly Towers each said public speaking is not something she enjoys or feels she does particularly well.

Towers, who joked about having someone else write her speech, said she has been thinking about life after graduation.

“So many aspects of our lives are going to change,’ she said. “Change is a normal aspect of life.”

Towers spoke of the changes that occurred when Regional School Unit 73 was formed.

“As sixth-graders, we were shifted into a new environment filled with unfamiliar faces,” she said. “We overcame that. Now we are faced with change again. New names to learn and new hallways to get lost in.

“That doesn’t mean we have to change who we are as a person. Don’t compromise your personality and who you are to fit in to your new surroundings. Embrace the change that is bound to happen. Don’t let anyone or anything change who you truly are.”

At the Spruce Mountain High School graduation Sunday, Salutatorian Lilly Towers told her classmates to ‘show up.’ Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

As she spoke, Beaudoin shared a lesson that has guided her: “I recalled a quote that made writing this speech less scary: ‘The world is run by those who show up.’

“As the world evolves with new technologies and social norms, it may seem easier to stay home while still feeling connected to the world through social media and online news. But nothing significant gets done that way. Talk to your neighbors, ask questions and show up for town meetings, where you can voice what you’re passionate about. Remember the times here and the people who made them worthwhile. Remember to look for the good. Be the change. All you have to do is show up.”

Stephen Gould, a 1976 Jay High School graduate and now the Livermore Falls town manager, also shared from his life experiences.

“Do what you want to do,” he said. “Don’t let others dictate your life. Find something that makes your heart beat faster.”

Before leading the Class of 2019 in the turning of their tassels, Moreland Brochu, the class president, said: “Graduation is not an end goal, but part of the larger journey of life. The road ahead won’t be easy. There will be obstacles, missed exits, potholes and roadblocks. Nothing worthwhile is easy, and that includes making the most of our futures.”

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