BUCKFIELD — Passing showers might have drenched chairs but couldn’t quench the celebratory spirit Saturday as the rains cleared the area about 15 minutes before Buckfield Junior-Senior High School was set to conduct an outside graduation for the Class of 2022.

While Principal George Reuter and other school staff members worked quickly to wipe wet seat backs and sop up puddles from folding chairs, several of the 32 graduating seniors milled about, talking, hugging and taking photos with friends and family before it was time to join the march that would mark the end of their high school days.

Senior Jamie Richardson, one of the Top 10 seniors, gave the welcome speech for her class. Richardson said that she could sum her class’s years in school “into something really simple, like eight words. And those words, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.” She said that her classmates’ families, friends and school faculty “have wrapped their arms around us and held us tightly” throughout their school years. “There was never a moment that we didn’t feel your unconditional love.”

Richardson also noted her class hoped they “left a permanent mark on our school community.”

Valedictorian Olivia Buswell, left, and salutatorian Kayden Haylock march Saturday during the Buckfield Junior-Senior High School graduation processional. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Class salutatorian Kayden Haylock remarked that “high school was filled with a lot of memories.” At school the students built relationships with their teachers, peers and each other, but “the best memories happened when we did things together.” Haylock remembered the “deep care for every single one of us” expressed by several teachers at school and she encouraged her classmates to take every opportunity they get to pursue the interests that they are passionate about.

With her turn to speak at the podium, valedictorian Olivia Buswell spoke about how sacrifice is important in life. In a quote from writer Mitch Albom, she read, “Sacrifice is a part of life, it’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to.”

However, she said, there needs to be a balance between making sacrifices, achieving goals and enjoying life. Everyone has a purpose, Buswell said, and they shouldn’t sacrifice themselves and who they are “meant to be in the process of figuring it out.”

Guest speaker Peter Rinck, CEO of Rinck Advertising in Lewiston, told the graduating students that their graduation “is a step toward a new kind of learning. Today is a step toward a new kind of learning. Learning is super important, because we can’t be done learning … and we never, ever stop learning.”

Rinck also told the students that it was important to “concentrate on what you’re good at.”

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