WINTHROP — It was a family affair Sunday for the class of 2013 at Winthrop High School.

The Nadeau brothers and the Pietroski brothers — not twins — and the Buck brothers — yes, twins — graduated with 56 other classmates Sunday afternoon.

They processed in to the crowded gym behind six flower girls dressed in identical turquoise sun dresses and six ushers, all juniors.

Family is important in Winthrop, as evidenced by the introduction of each student speaker along with the names of their parents.

The Nadeau brothers were home-schooled until they enrolled at Winthrop in ninth grade. “We decided we’d go in together,” said Casey Nadeau, 18. “And face the world together,” added Zachary Nadeau, 19.

Casey Nadeau is going to the University of Maine with an undeclared major and his brother to the University of Maine at Farmington for secondary education and coaching.

Thomas Pietroski, 18, is heading to the University of Maine at Presque Isle to study history and political science while Daniel Pietroski, 18, will continue as a post-grad at Winthrop and at the Capital Area Technical Center, said their proud father, Joseph Pietroski, who wore a boutonniere marking him as a member of the school board.

The Buck twins, Caleb and Cody, are both entering the workforce.

And Peter Michelsen and Dalton Cummins — no relation — both opted to attend Castleton State College in Castleton, Vt., Michelsen for acting and directing and Cummins for technical theater.

Castleton State is the alma mater of David Setchell, the drama director and head of the Winthrop Performing Arts Center. When the Michelsen and Cummins visited Castleton, they met Setchell’s director, who is still there on the faculty.

As the graduates gathered in the school cafeteria, pinning flowers and adjusting caps, Robert Owens, who is heading for the University of Maine, said, “I’m going to miss how everyone here is a family.”

Salutatorian Randee Boulay told her classmates not to fear the future: “The future is most certainly easier to envision when you see yourself as part of its solution.”

Valedictorian Declan Chu talked of being invited to play with the other students five minutes into his first school recess after he moved from New York to Winthrop with his family 10 years ago. “I will always remember how friendly everyone was to me. I don’t know, maybe it’s the award-winning water, but the people of Winthrop have always been a kind, caring, accepting group of people.”

Principal Keith Morin cited that welcoming attitude in his address to the students: “The Class of 2013 is above all things kind,” he said, describing them as “generous, giving, intelligent and serving as an inspiration” for their altruism.

Take for example, Chase Robbins, active in a number of volunteer activities, school clubs and the American Legion, who did volunteer work during a recent trip to Guatemala.

“I like to be in everything,” she said. “If there’s a group, I like to do it.”

Robbins is taking her can-do attitude to the University of Maine where she plans to major in political science, hoping to go to law school and eventually do ambassadorial work.

“I’m very proud because it’s not necessarily an easy thing,” said her mother, Judy Ward. “I’m proud of the way she’s handled herself.”

Elizabeth “Liz” Glover encapsulated what the school means to her: “I’m going to miss the people the most, and the phenomenal support, the amazing connections you have in a small school.” Glover, too, is heading to the University of Maine.

The class wanted to forget no one, making a special presentation to the family of Serena Whaley, who died when she was in fourth grade in Winthrop Grade School and would have graduated with the close-knit class.

The guest speaker, Winthrop High School math teacher Marlene Lauritsen, brought a box of Life cereal and used it to describe significant moments in the graduates’ school careers, telling them their own box of life has plenty of room for more experiences and more achievements.

Betty Adams — 621-5631
[email protected]

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