SKOWHEGAN — You did it. You finished high school. Now go out and find your place in the world.

That was part of the message Sunday during commencement exercises for the Class of 2015 at Skowhegan Area High School and Bloomfield Academy.

In his reflections for the graduating class, senior class steward Lyric C. Deagle chose to recite a song: “Your Place In This World” by Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Gordie Sampson. It is a song about setting out into the future and the hope that it inspires, Deagle said.

“Spend your time like it was your money to burn” the song goes. “Enjoy the ride and the thrill of the chase ’til you find your place in this world.”

Ceremonies opened Sunday afternoon in the high school gymnasium with live music from the Skowhegan High School Band. The processional, led by high school faculty, marched in — boys in black with orange, girls in white with orange — two by two to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance.”

A flag salute was led by senior class president Jasmine M. Gordon.

Class salutatorian Justin G. Ramos welcomed the approximately 151 graduates, their families and friends with a welcome in several languages.

“My fellow classmates, take all of these welcomes openly as they are a representation of the world that is about to open up to us,” Ramos said. “Soon we will be out of these walls for good to face a new larger world.”

Ramos traced the steps of the Class of 2015 from being top dog in middle school down to the bottom of the ladder as freshmen at the high school. From there it was a steep climb past their sophomore year to the grueling junior year of hard classes, stressful SATs “and guess what? We survived,” he said.

Finally it was the “shining city on the hill” known as senior year, and they were now hurtling toward graduation day and final exams.

Ramos said the Class of 2015 has the diversity of softball and field hockey state champions, drama festival winners, all-state musicians, a track champion, a national merit scholar and several National Honor Society members. He said graduates will go onto college, into the military or directly into the workforce, and he thanked the school faculty for helping them get to where they were Sunday.

“We are now fully prepared to be tomorrow’s future, and tomorrow is fast upon us,” he said. “Without the faculty here, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

Ramos also thanked family members who gave their support along the way.

“Also thank yourselves for pushing yourselves to make it through all the hardships, pushing past the obstacles that stood in the way of this fateful day,” he said. “You made it. You’re here.”

Quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ramos said, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

“Someone tell the world that we are graduating, because ready or not, here we come,” he said.

Graduate Luke R. Tanner then sang the song “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan, accompanied by Simon A. Albrecht.

Scholarships and awards were given out and the class farewell was delivered by graduate Eben J. Lenfest. Diplomas were presented by Liz Anderson, chairman of the school board, and by school superintendent Brent Colbry.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

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Twitter: @Doug_Harlow