The Mount Abram High School Class of 2023 toss their caps in the air after turning the tassel Friday during graduation. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

STRONG — “Courage, strength, adaptability, endurance; all different attributes we have taken away from Mount Abram,” valedictorian Isabella Norster said to her graduating peers and their family members at Mt. Abram High School’s graduation ceremony on Friday.

“However, this isn’t all,” she continued. “Mount Abram High School is a small, but mighty community.”

Mt. Abram had 45 seniors in its graduating class this year, with 43 in attendance for the ceremony held in the school’s gymnasium. In previous years graduation was an outdoor event, but the weather Friday forced the ceremony indoors.

Mount Abram High School valedictorian Isabella Norster speaks to her graduating peers, friends and family members Friday during commencement. In her speech, she thanked the staff, family and local convenience stores for keeping plenty of caffeine in stock. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

Principal Tim Richards opened with some words of advice. “First of all, I want you to be happy,” he said. “Life is short, believe it or not. Please be happy in what you do.”

Norster, along with salutatorian Savina Sherwood, expressed gratitude toward the staff, friends and family that helped them in their journey to graduation. Both spoke of the challenges they had to endure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the 45 graduates, 31 are planning to attend post-secondary schools, and 14 aim to head into the work force. Seventy scholarships from local, state and individual sources were awarded to 24 graduates, amounting to $334,607.

Among the scholarships was the Michaela Morgan Memorial Scholarship, which commemorates the life of Michaela Morgan of Philips, a student who died in a car accident in 2021. Morgan would have been a part of this graduating class. Norster held a moment of silence in her memory.

To conclude her speech, Norster asked the audience to look at the graduating class of 2023. “We have acknowledged our successes and achievements of the present, but we are just getting started.”

“Still looking?” she continued. “Good, because you are all staring at the future. These young adults are the future doctors, teachers, business owners, first responders, service men, engineers, radiologist, pharmacist, computer technologist, scientist, and many more of our tomorrow, and I for one cannot wait to see it.”

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