Maine Connections Academy, a tuition-free, online charter school for grades 7-12, hosted its commencement ceremony online June 4 to honor 77 students in its sixth class of graduating seniors. Lindsey Childs of Palermo was class salutatorian, according to a news release from the academy.

Lindsey Childs Photo courtesy of the Maine Connections Academy

Because of restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person ceremony took place online, with all students and their families, as well as academy faculty and staff, invited to attend. Childs plans to attend the University of Maine at Orono this fall. She will have a double major in political science and sociology, with a concentration in crime, law and justice.

Her remarks as salutatorian were notable in that Childs delivered them while standing next to her favorite horse. She focused on the presence of change in our lives: “We’re all going to have to make significant changes, and some of us don’t even know what to do with our lives. But change can be a positive, we can’t avoid it. The secret is to adapt to change,” according the release.

As an online school, academy students learn from wherever there is an Internet connection across all of Maine’s 16 counties. This online graduation was simply one more way of collaborating together. With families and friends, academy students “walked across the stage” and showed each other meaningful images and words to capture their time together at the online school. Four academy teachers acted as Master of Ceremonies throughout the online ceremony.