THORNDIKE — Respect one another, make a difference, do what scares you and remember where you came from.

Those were the principles being espoused by the speakers at Mount View High School’s graduation ceremony Sunday afternoon.

The school’s gymnasium was packed as friends, teachers and loved ones watched the graduates receive their diplomas. Now with that diploma, the 110 students making up Mount View’s class of 2018 plan to take on new challenges, such as furthering their education either through college or technical school; entering the work force; enlisting in the military; and some are still trying to figure it out.

Myrick Cross, the School Board Chair for Regional School Unit 3, opened the ceremony by telling the graduates that no matter what they end up doing in their lives, they should continue to focus on the respect each and every human being deserves.

Cross said he’s learned most of his life lessons from his 38-year-old daughter who has down syndrome. He said she has an antenna for the feelings of other people and shows those people respect and kindness.

Cross told the graduates to respect others who are different from them.

“We have 11 towns in our district and our fair share of differences,” he said. “We can be proud that we’re able to work together to provide these students with a good education.

The district’s superintendent, Paul Austin, encouraged students to continue their education once they leave with their diplomas, and to use that education to make an impact in the world.

“I have no doubt that you have a solid foundation … but there’s so much more to learn about the world we live,” Austin said. “You have a responsibility to make an impact and use your voice to support what is good.”

He told them to make a difference in their community, country and the world by standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. And by doing so, he said, they will leave a legacy that will live on forever.

Kristen Raven, the class valedictorian, reflected on what she and her classmates had been through together in the last four years, saying there were times of joy and times of hardship, but now it is time to say goodbye.

“It seemed like this day would never come and all of a sudden here we are,” Raven said.

She said whatever is in store for the next chapter of their lives, they shouldn’t be worried about making mistakes.

“We will inevitably make mistakes,” she said. “But that means we’re learning.”

Raven urged her classmates to do the things that scare them. She noted that speaking in front of such a large crowd was outside of her comfort zone, but she said she knew she would be able to look back on it someday and appreciate that she did something that scared her, and ultimately made her grow as a person.

“The next few years are about figuring out our lives, learning about ourselves and the world we live in,” she said. “But the thing about this goodbye that makes me happy is knowing that we all have bigger things in store for us that we will accomplish.”

Alexis Bowman, the salutorian, was the last to speak before the graduates received their diplomas. Her speech was brief and light-hearted, and focused on the community that shaped them.

She began by admitting that she didn’t know what the future has in store for them, but she believes that the Mount View community has prepared each of them for whatever challenges they face.

“Our community is spread out, which can make a lot of things difficult,” she said. “But it doesn’t stop us from helping each other.”

She talked about all of the snowstorms they’ve endured and how during those times neighbors always lent a hand.

“I hope one day we look back on where we came from and what we had and be grateful.”

Emily Higginbotham — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @EmilyHigg

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