Members of the Dirigo Senior Choir perform “I’ll Always Remember You” during Friday’s commencement exercises in Dixfield. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

DIXFIELD — It was a night for celebrating the payoff for 12 years of hard work, and an extraordinary senior year.

Commencement exercises for Dirigo High School’s Class of 2021 were held Friday evening on the school’s football field.

Superintendent Pam Doyen and Assistant Principal Jess McGreevy presented diplomas to 51 seniors.

In presenting the address to the parents, senior Will Hines began by noting that not only should this senior class be celebrated, but so should the parents and families of the Class of 2021.

“They’ve done just as much work as us, if not more, to get us here. They took tiny infants who couldn’t even walk and talk on their own, and turned them into the seniors we see today,” he said.

It wasn’t always easy, Hines said.

“Some of us were more difficult to raise than others,” he said. “As many of you know, I am autistic and when I was a kid, I literally thought that people were objects. They were like the people on the TV to me because they both talked to me.”

“My mom brought me from that to someone who knows and cares about the people around them, and cannot only survive but thrive in social situations. She taught me what was right and what was wrong without ever putting me down for my disability, and she made sure I was treated as any other child would be.”

Hines said, “Thank you for pushing through high school to get things done.”

He then said other senior parents and families deserved medals for all the work they’ve done “to get us here today. I mean, c’mon, it couldn’t have been easy to put up with us for 18 years.”

Spencer Jacques, who made the farewell address to seniors, said his class’ determination brought them far.

“We should all be proud of ourselves for making it this far,” Jacques said. “It was not through luck that we made it here, but our ability to shake off the unfortunate circumstances and remain determined anyways. We remained optimistic at reaching this point.”

“We laughed through senior chorus practices, and cheered each other on during virtual Student of the Month assemblies,” Jacques said. “We had every right to complain about our senior year, but instead we took it as is and embraced the change as optimistically as a group can.”

Project Graduation followed commencement with a trip to the Narrow Gauge drive-in in Farmington for a movie, pizza and then continued back to the high school for a hypnotist presentation and prizes.

Senior Will Hines presents the address to the parents during Friday’s commencement exercises at Dirigo High School in Dixfield. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times


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