FARMINGDALE — All of Hall-Dale High School’s 2015 graduates could go far, but at first, Wesley Lapointe is going farther.

Geographically, that is: In a gap year, Lapointe, of Hallowell, will head to Southeast Asia in July for two months to teach art and hone his photography skills in Vietnam before returning stateside, hopefully to work at a ski resort before going to Quest University in Canada.

“I think Hall-Dale and Hallowell prepared me,” he said. “I won’t give Hall-Dale all the credit, but I feel prepared.”

He was one of 68 seniors to graduate at a Saturday evening ceremony at the Farmingdale school, where speakers stood in front of a small tree that has grown since the class was in kindergarten.

“As that tree in the corner represents life and knowledge, it also represents you, as a community. You are always welcome home,” said Principal Mark Tinkham. “But before you decide to come home, allow your branches to experience what the world has to offer.”

Emily Markham, the class’s at-large speaker, called everyone in the room “our big family.” Honor essayist Emma Wilson remembered that classmates embraced her when she moved there from Utah in third grade.

“It’s the little things that make the biggest differences,” Wilson said.

Speeches were sprinkled with references to winter carnival events, social media-savvy teachers and the Chinese lunch buffet at Lucky Garden Restaurant in Hallowell, an early-release day student staple.

“Don’t be that guy who lingers around the salad bar all night. Always go for the steak and lobster,” salutatorian Nicole Pelletier told classmaters. “I don’t care if you like salad. Go for the expensive stuff every time. Don’t sell yourself short.”

Valedictorian Bryson Camp made an “unorthodox” choice in his speech, which he delivered as a rap.

“Now we’re history,” he closed. “Where we’re going next is a mystery.”

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652

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Twitter: @mikeshepherdme