LIVERMORE FALLS — The skies cleared and warmer weather arrived for Spruce Mountain Adult Education’s celebration of the accomplishments of the Class of 2024 Sunday afternoon, June 9.

Director Robyn Raymond welcomed everyone. “Today, we celebrate our graduates,” she said. “The graduates here before you exhibited perseverance. They set their sights on academic and workforce goals, dug deep, and accomplished what they set out to do. But they couldn’t have done it without the unwavering support of friends, family, supportive employers, co-workers, the community, and loved ones.”

National Adult Education Honor Society inductees in alphabetical order Vanessa Barker, Sandra McKenzie and Wendy Riggs receive their certificates, letters and pins Sunday afternoon, June 9, during the Spruce Mountain Adult Education graduation ceremony held at Griffin Field in Livermore Falls. Also seen in back from left are staff members Michelle Guillaume and Betsy Bremner and Robyn Raymond, director. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Raymond thanked attendees for encouraging and believing in the power and value of continuing education. “Returning to school as an adult can feel like a daunting task,” she noted. “But we see it as a bold and inspiring move. It takes courage to chase after a dream, to shift priorities, and to balance adult responsibilities in the pursuit of bettering oneself. This journey requires sacrifices, impacting not only the learners but those around them, creating a ripple effect of positivity and success.”

Showing up despite challenges, knowing it will pay off in the end is something to be immensely proud of, Raymond said. “Taking a risk can be intimidating because there’s always a chance of failure,” she stated. “Yet, progress and success are impossible without taking that leap of faith. Each and every one of you took that leap, and today, you reap the rewards of your bravery and determination.”

In addition to lessons learned in class, invaluable life skills such as resilience, time management, and the ability to adapt to new challenges were gained, Raymond said. “These skills will serve you well in all future endeavors. They are the tools that will help you navigate the complexities of life and the workforce.”

Instructors Michelle Guillaume and Betsy Bremner then spoke of qualifications for the National Adult Education Honor Society. Students attended consistently, showed up for class, they noted. They said the students selected this year exhibited citizenship. They showed respect, patience and tolerance for others and their ideas; they consistently showed generosity and kindness, were encouraging and supportive towards each other, they shared.


They were excellent role models and an inspiration for other students; they had a strong work ethic, were always prepared for class, asked questions, set goals and actively worked towards them, Bremner and Guillaume said. These students are strong advocates and effective communicators, they stated. These are skills that will carry them through the next steps in their lives, they added.

Vanessa Barker, Sandra McKenzie, Wendy Riggs and Chanaya Som [who was unable to attend] were recognized as this year’s inductees. Each received a certificate, a letter for their portfolio and the official pin.

Sara Beech, program coordinator for Literacy Volunteers of Franklin and Somerset Counties said the organization is committed to providing quality services in western Maine. She spoke of literacy programs available both in person and online to help adult learners in the community.

Christine Fournier and Joel Gilbert from the Jay/Livermore/Livermore Falls Chamber of Commerce presented a $1,000 scholarship to a student chosen by the faculty. Fournier said the chamber encourages students to study in Maine, stay in Maine. Shawn Quirrion, who will be studying underwater welding was unable to attend.

“I can attest to the ever demanding need for highly trained health care professionals,” Jolene Luce, director of Western Maine Area Health Education Center said. “This year’s class of Certified Nursing Assistants [CNA] and Certified Clinical Medical Assistants CCMA] is promising for the future.”

The CNA is a seven week apprenticeship with over 280 hours of in-class instruction and hands-on bedside basic care, Luce noted. There were two CCMA cohorts this year which is a highly accelerated course of over 120 hours of in-class instruction, 160 hours hands-on clinical rotation, an additional 24 hours of medical terminology completion and 60 hours of additional home study and national certification, she stated.


This year saw 17 students become CCMAs and three are now CNAs.

Adam Brennan is seen Sunday afternoon, June 9, during the Spruce Mountain Adult Education graduation held at Griffin Field in Livermore Falls. He received a certificate for completing the culinary arts program and his HiSET/adult education diploma. Director Robyn Raymond is behind him and Jolene Luce, director of Western Maine Area Health Education Center is at right. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Raymond shared words about the culinary arts program written by chef Wayne Kregling who couldn’t attend. The program began as a work study collaboration with local businesses, with the pandemic causing a rethinking of the program, she said. Rebranding allowed incorporating five star dining into the classes and feeding the community in a time of need, she noted.

Three students completed the culinary arts program. One of them, Adam Brennan was also one of the 30 adults who received diplomas.

“We wish our graduates the best of success in their future endeavors,” Raymond said. “Remember to be both curious and humble. Explore new heights. Keep learning. And be sure that no matter the road you’re on after today, be kind and strive to make the world a better place.”


Comments are not available on this story.