Fifty-one students from across Maine recently gathered at the Augusta Civic Center for the fourth commencement of Maine Connections Academy, a tuition-free virtual high school.

For many of these students, this was the first time they had actually met. MCA students take rigorous courses online from Maine-certified teachers, but do so from their own homes or any Internet connection.

The graduates included Abigail Roy, Christian Gagnon, Zoe Morey, Brianna McDonough, Machella Allen, Elisabeth Seliga, Taylor Vines, Elizabeth Curtis, Chloe Waugh, Emma Compton, Velstara Vardamis-Henry, Lilia Beal, Abagail Cress, Sumir Mahonen, Kyara Dawbin, Sarah Legere, Elizabeth Linnell, Ella Fields, Dylan DesFosses, Isaiah Audet, Alycia Jajliardo, Kassandra Isaac, Macayla Curato, Gavin Furrow-Casement, Allison Sprous, Sarah Levier, Seth Levier, Elexis DuBose, Benjamin MacLennan , Wyatt Howe, Abigail Mitchell, Emily Stone, Emily McNally, Peter Cornelio and Nolan DeMoranville.

Julia Clukey, Augusta native and former Olympian in luge, was the keynote speaker during the ceremony.

Valedictorian Elizabeth Linnell hails from Mariaville and plans to focus on cyber security at the University of Maine Fort Kent.

Salutatorian Elisabeth Seliga (also the Mitchell Scholar) is from New Gloucester, has been on the cheerleading team at Gray-New Gloucester High School, she plans to attend Central Maine Community College in the fall.

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