On Friday evening, 41 Mt. Abram High School graduates and their families celebrated outdoors, with the setting sun highlighting Mount Abraham’s dramatic backdrop. Photo by Valerie Tucker

SALEM TOWNSHIP — After the challenges of the unusual school year, Mt. Abram High School students were ready to celebrate their milestone achievements and step into the next chapters of their lives.

Principal Michelle Tranten told the Friday evening audience that among the Class of 2021’s 41 graduates, 27 will attend post-secondary schools, 11 will join the workforce and three will enter the U.S. military. Students were awarded over $300,000 in scholarships.

Tranten told the young people on the stage that she would miss each of their smiling faces when the doors to the school open in September. She added words of encouragement, urging them to be ethical, compassionate, respectful, loving and kind.

Meika Caron, left, and Katie McGarvey were among the 41 graduating seniors at Mt. Abram High School on Friday evening. Students were cheered on by dozens of family members and friends gathered outside to celebrate four years of hard work and accomplishments. Photo by Valerie Tucker

“Be proud of who you are,” Tranten said. “Be respectful to yourself.”

Valedictorian Benjamin DeBiase said diversity was a key characteristic of the Class of 2021, drawing some laughter from his peers.

“We have some athletes, some artists, some kids that probably care more about their trucks than anything else in the world, some gym rats and one kid that broke, like, two or three lights in the gym,” he said. “But no matter what we are, or what separates us, we’re graduates now. We’re all sitting here, decked out in our graduation gear, wondering what happens next.”


The son of John and Andrea DeBiase, he will attend St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, majoring in digital media or environmental science. He received the university’s four-year, $140,000 Momentum Scholar Award based on his academic and extracurricular achievements, character and citizenship.

Salutatorian Camryn Wahl, daughter of Mark and RaeAnn Wahl, will attend Thomas College with a major in business management. Among her several awards was an $18,000 Summa Cum Laude Scholarship, a $10,000 Mitchell Scholarship and the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award.

She told her classmates that a small school has its strengths and drawbacks, as does any other school. She expressed her appreciation for the life-changing connections with teachers, growing friendships and the opportunity to represent the school as a member of the basketball and soccer teams.

“The connections I have made and strengthened through these four years will never be forgotten,” she said.

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