SMHS Principal TJ Plourde addresses the Class of 2019 prior to graduation Sunday, June 9. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

JAY — Prior to the Spruce Mountain High School graduation on Sunday, June 9 the Class of 2019 were given some words of wisdom from their principal, TJ Plourde.

Plourde said, “This event is for you. Be respectful. Pay attention. Treat others with respect if they mess up.

“Don’t be surprised if your crazy uncle is up there hooting and hollering when your name is called.

“It’s been a pleasure being your principal. I love you and am super proud of you. You are welcome to come back next year and tell me your stories.”

The SMHS Jazz Band provided the prelude while guests made their way into the gymnasium. The SMHS band played Pomp and Circumstance while faculty members marched in and class marshals Anna Bradford and Jonathan Brenner led the seniors to their seats.

Plourde said, “This is your day, we’re commemorating the road you have traveled. There have been trials and tribulations along the way. Together we have experienced exceptional, magical moments.”

Bryce Chavez and Andrew Shaw were recognized for their plans to enter the military.

At SMHS graduation Sunday, June 9 Salutatorian Lilly Towers said change is normal. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

Salutatorian Lilly Towers thanked parents and family members for their help with school projects and support of sporting events. She also thanked the teachers for being kind and understanding while doing their jobs.

She said she joked about having someone else write her speech, then started thinking about what life after graduation would be like.

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

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

“As sixth graders we were shifted into a new environment filled with unfamiliar faces. We overcame that change. 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,” Towers said.

The SMHS band performed Arsenal by JanVan Der Roster

Stephen Gould, a 1976 Jay High School graduate and Livermore Falls Town Manager was the guest speaker.

Stephen Gould, a 1976 Jay High School graduate and current Livermore Falls Town Manager, was the guest speaker at SMHS graduation Sunday, June 9. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

He said he was painfully shy and didn’t excel in school.

“First impressions may be inaccurate. My biggest mistake was not doing what I wanted to do.

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

He spoke of growing up in an alcoholic family and how PTSD restricted what he wanted to do.

“PTSD has a good side and a bad side. It made me develop skills and techniques I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

“Find your strengths, push weaknesses aside. Doors will close, doors will open. You have to be looking for them

“Do what you believe is right. Be there for others.

“Congratulations! It’s your turn to go out into the world,” Gould said.

Valedictorian Gabrielle Beaudoin said addressing everyone at graduation was an honor but a pretty daunting task. She thanked the faculty and parents, whom she called ‘lifelong teachers’, for making the past four years beneficial and memorable.

AT SMHS graduation Sunday, June 9, Valedictorian Gabrielle Beaudoin told her classmates to show up Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

“Without your sacrifices we would not be rocking these caps and gowns today. Getting to this point has been no easy task. Homework was the song that never ended.

“Our freshman awkwardness is something to be looked back on with a laugh. We can’t forget the day to day goings on at Spruce.

“I recalled a quote from Mr. Taylor, the environment man himself, that made writing this speech less scary. It is ‘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 you had here and the people who made them worthwhile. Remember to look for the good and be the change. All you have to do is show up,” she said.

Before leading the Class of 2019 in the turning of their tassels, Class President Moreland Brochu said, “We did it. Graduation is a major step in the journey of our lives, one that should be recognized for its immense significance.

“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.”

“We are all in this journey together. Nothing worthwhile is easy. We will keep pushing because we know we can achieve our dreams and because we are worth it.”

 

SMHS senior Hannah Burhoe waits for the start of graduation Sunday, June 9. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

Spruce Mountain High School Class of 2019 Marshals Jonathan Brenner and Anna Bradford lead the seniors to their seats during the start of graduation Sunday, June 9. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

 

Spruce Mountain High School Class of 2019 Marshals Jonathan Brenner and Anna Bradford lead the seniors to their seats during the start of graduation Sunday, June 9. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden  

 

The SMHS band directed by Darrell Roundy played the processional at graduation Sunday, June 9. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

SMHS senior class adviser Kymberly Byant helps secure the sash of Daniel Violette prior to graduation Sunday, June 9. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

Seniors Jonathan Brenner and Gabrielle Beaudoin performed the prelude with the school’s Jazz Band prior to graduation Sunday, June 9. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden