MADISON — The most worthless question you can ask a high school graduate is “Where do you see yourself in five years?” according to this year’s Madison Area Memorial High School class valedictorian.

Alexandra McClintock said none of the students knows what the future holds, and she encouraged her 62 fellow graduates not to be afraid of unexpected changes in their plans.

“My advice to this class is to accept those changes with an open mind,” McClintock said.

Class president Hunter Clark told his fellow classmates that while they are thanking their families, friends and the members of the community for support, they should also thank their teachers, who he said were each a “special kind of person” who dedicated their time to helping the students.

He said the students should be proud they persevered through the homework and tests and “pushed through the Mondays that definitely outnumbered every Friday.”

Graduation speaker Rhonda Emerson, CEO and owner of Emerson & Associates and a 1980 Madison graduate, urged the students to continue to learn even after they are no longer receiving grades and tests.


“Try not to become complacent with what you think you know now,” she said.

She predicted many of the students would have a hard time deciding whether to move far away or continue to live in the community they grew up in

“I remember being torn. When I was here, I wished I wasn’t; and when I wasn’t, I wished I was,” she said.

She said whether graduates end up living in the area or living far from Maine, they should become involved in their community.

While waiting for the ceremony to start, most seniors agreed that now that they’ve graduated, their time at school seems to have flown by, though the time seemed to pass by slowly while they were waiting for this moment to come.

Friends Shelly Rackliff and Sarah Norton, both 18 and from Madison, said they felt as though the time dragged when they were younger, but now they wish it had not gone by so fast.


Norton said life after high school seems scary, but she is excited to graduate.

Rackcliff said she was said she was not expecting to feel sad about graduating, but now that the day of the ceremony had arrived, she was feeling emotional.

“It’s definitely mixed emotions,” she said.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252
[email protected]


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