Jennifer Moore of Mechanic Falls takes a photo of her daugher Olivia Bell after receiving her diploma. Caroline Burns/Sun Journal


POLAND — Three speakers from the 2020 graduating class at Poland Regional High School said at Saturday evening’s ceremony that their class is ready for whatever the future brings on, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic or whatever else lies ahead.


POLAND — Three speakers told their classmates and families Saturday evening that this Poland High School class is ready for whatever the future brings on, whether its the COVID-19 pandemic or whatever else lies ahead.

The trio were among those chosen to speak during the Class of 2020’s drive-in graduation ceremony held in the student parking lot.

Olivia Bell, president of the student body, welcomed the crowd sitting in their cars. “The world has thrown us a tremendous curve ball.” 

Bell went to say their class is a strong and independent group of people who, “stuck together and supported one another.”

The 2020 Poland Regional High School graduation can be seen from the air on Saturday night, June 6, 2020. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“Each of us,” Bell said, “has worked extremely hard to get where we are today.”

Quoting New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do,” Bell added.

“We will have our fair share of unexpected circumstances especially if the past few months are any indication,” said class salutatorian Colin Marquis-Boutin in an address to the 118 graduating seniors and their family members. The audience was required to watch from their cars in order to adhere to state guidelines for gatherings and social distancing recommendations.  

“Nostalgia is a truly great human strength and inspiration,” Marquis-Boutin said, before adding that it should be used as a tool, to remember and learn from the past. “Reflect on where we have been, and by remembering and learning from the past we are able to create a better future for ourselves and our society.”

Riley Sullivan waits her turn in her car. Caroline Burns/Sun Journal

Today is “the starting point for our next journey in life,” he said, before quoting from the television show “Parks and Recreation”: “Work hard at work worth doing.”

Logan Lajoie, the class valedictorian, explained the class of 2020 is a diverse group that came together to overcome challenges.

“Overcoming challenges is not a burden, it is a gift,” Lajoie said, adding that the class put its best effort into any task, whether it was fundraising or competition. 

Lajoie said the class was, “consistently recognized for our role modeling throughout the school. We set the stage for respect, kindness and confidence.” 

She finished by saying that while the future “looks scary,” they are not afraid.

Principal Cari Medd gave the audience permission to break from traditional clapping. Instead of applause, Medd said, “Feel free to lay on the horn as long (as) you want, it’s that kind of graduation.”  

Medd told the graduates they have been involved in some “crazy months of time of our history,” before adding, “We could not be prouder of you.”

James McLean embraces Robert William Jones after he received his diploma. Brewster Burns/Sun Journal

Colin Marquis-Boutin tells the crowd about nostalgia. Caroline Burns/Sun Journal

Grandfather Bob Bolduc and aunt Rachael Michaud wave and record as Daulton Bolduc, foreground, waves after receiving his diploma. Brewster Burns/Sun Journal

Hope Bowen takes a photo of her brother Nick Bowen as he crosses the stage. Caroline Burns/Sun Journal

Max Arel flashes a piece sign to the crowd after receiving his diploma. Caroline Burns/Sun Journal

Family members sit in their cars waiting for the Poland Regional High School graduation to begin. Brewster Burns/Sun Journal

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