What People are Reading
- What a very sad and shocking
2 years 29 weeks ago
- Smart Meters
2 years 32 weeks ago
- 100 year old house burns
2 years 32 weeks ago
- Column 2-10 re Treason
2 years 42 weeks ago
- Radical Difference
2 years 42 weeks ago
- This activity is such a
2 years 50 weeks ago
- Okay Great we got a sign!
2 years 51 weeks ago
- Hate Crime a Sad Moment Indeed
3 years 4 days ago
More in Featured
Oxford Hills graduates 230
VALEDICTORIAN — Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School Class of 2013 valedictorian and class secretary Ariel Garber gives her address to the seniors at their graduation Saturday at the Gouin Athletic Complex. Garber told the graduates to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way.
GRADUATION — Family, friends, classmates and Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School faculty fill the grandstands and athletic field below at the Gouin Athletic Complex during the OHCHS Class of 2013 graduation Saturday.
OXFORD HILLS — "Nothing we can do can change the past, but everything we do changes the future."
This was the quote that was chosen to symbolize the next chapter for the Class of 2013 graduates of Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, who proudly marched across the stage to accept their high school diplomas during their commencement ceremony at the Gouin Athletic Complex on Saturday evening.
Family, friends, classmates and school faculty filled the outdoor grandstands and the athletic field below as faculty bagpipers welcomed the procession of graduates.
Clad in green and white, the 230 seniors, some with personalized caps, marched onto the field at 7 p.m.
Salutatorian Alyssa Andrews, during her address to the graduates, told them that as a freshman at OHCHS, she decided to try something new: cross-country skiing. During this time, she learned an important lesson from her coach.
Her very first time on the skis, she fell. "I wasn't hurt, but I was shocked," she said. Her coach could tell she was surprised and embarrassed, so he told her it was OK to cry, she said. And she did.
"The way we relate to other people is one of the most important things in life," Andrews told the graduates. She said a person may have a successful career, and every material "thing" they could possibly want, "but without strong connections to other people, they may never, truly be successful."
She added, "Reach out, create, and maintain lots of good relationships."
Valedictorian and class secretary Ariel Garber asked the graduates during her speech what makes them different from the other 2013 graduates out there.
"Opportunities, moments, chances," she answered. These words, she said, appeared in all of her college application essays. "These are the things that shape who we become. Opportunities mean nothing if they are ignored, and everything if they are realized. Our opportunities are limitless."
She urged the students in all that they do, no matter where life takes them, to "strive to be happy."
Guest speaker, Maine state representative Terry Hayes (D-Buckfield), told the graduates there were three words she wanted them to remember, all beginning with the letter "L."
She encouraged the students to follow the three words – listen, laugh and learn – as she believed it would help to shape their futures.
"To ... be happy and get what you really want, relationships are key," Hayes said. She said listening has helped her get what she wants as a legislator.
"The only way we can get something done, is to do it together and we have to be persuasive. And listening, I think, is the most persuasive tool," Hayes said.
"It demonstrates courtesy, value and respect. When somebody feels that, they are open to you. That's how you get what you want."
She added, "Your sense of humor is crucial to your happiness." Wearing a goofy pair of sunglasses, she told the graduates they have to be able to laugh at their mistakes.
"My challenge to you is that you will take your work seriously, but you will never take yourselves too seriously."
The last word is learn, she said. "The key is to learn from your mistakes," Hayes said.
Principal Ted Moccia, who gave the opening remarks, told the graduates that when thinking of "words of wisdom" to share, the theme of community resonated with him.
"As Cesar Chavez said, 'We cannot seek achievement for ourselves, and forget about progress and prosperity for our community," Moccia said. "Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.
"I challenge you, to always remember where you came from," he said. "Never lose sight of the fact that you will always have a loving and caring community called Oxford Hills. Once a Viking, always a Viking."
Class President Shennah Derstine gave the closing remarks before leading the graduates in a candle-lighting ceremony as a gesture of unification.
SALUTATORIAN — Class of 2013 salutatorian Alyssa Andrews gives her address at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School graduation ceremony Saturday. The secret to living a rich life, she said, is to "reach out, create, and maintain lots of good relationships."