FARMINGTON — Stay away from conformity and don’t be afraid to be different from the norm, valedictorian Abigail Lochola told her classmates Saturday morning at the Mt. Blue High School commencement.

She told the graduating seniors, who gathered at 11 a.m. before a packed house of relatives and friends spilling out of the partially built school’s gymnasium, that they should avoid any path seeming normal, typical or safe.

“You should want to be worth more than a pile of routine,” she said.

Lochola was announced as valedictorian and Ruth Leopold as salutatorian by Principal Monique Poulin at the ceremony.

Lochola’s message about avoiding normalcy was reiterated by senior Laura Dunham, who also addressed her classmates.

Dunham said she is “petrified of being normal” and urged her classmates not to be ashamed of what makes them different.

“Run away from normal as fast as you can,” she said.

She said that while in high school, she saw her classmates shy away from announcing their successes so they could blend in. Dunham said she challenged the students to be proud of what makes them different, especially their achievements.

Dunham said the students are now like chicks still in their eggs, unhatched, and said the seniors, after graduating, must either “hatch or go bad.”

Like chicks, she said, they all must break out of their shells eventually.

“We were also born to fly,” she said.

Poulin told the seniors that although they never got to attend the school with the construction finished, they got to experience some of the benefits and should be commended for attending during the construction period.

She told the students she will miss the talents they brought to the school, but she and the other teachers will feel pride after the class leaves, knowing they played a small part in the students’ success.

Several students also were chosen to give musical performances throughout the celebration. Ragnar Clark and Paige Kincaid sang “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons. Ragnar Clark and Zak Kendall sang “Rivers and Roads” by The Head and The Heart. Kevin Foley and Cassidy Bigos, both playing the saxophone, performed “Moondance” by Van Morrison and “Feeling Good” by Anthony Newley and Leslie Brieusse.

Bigos, 18, of Temple, who played a tenor saxophone solo, said after the ceremony that while she joined the school district just two years ago after moving from Dixfield, she quickly made friends and enjoyed the school’s music program.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252
[email protected]

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