The best part of attending Richmond High School is the instructors, senior Marybeth Sloat said. “I love my teachers.” She will be attending Husson University in the fall to study psychology. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

RICHMOND — Husson University in Bangor is a little bigger than Richmond, said Marybeth Sloat.

Sloat, a senior at Richmond Middle and High School, is the school’s Maine Principal’s Award recipient. She will be attending Husson next year to study psychology.

“When I visited, I loved it,” Sloat said. “I’m glad they emphasize a small school feel at Husson, and I really felt it when I went to Accepted Students Day and met upperclassmen.”

The Maine Principal’s Award is given to a student for their academic success and good citizenship. 

Richmond Principal Karl Matulis said Sloat is a “role model and positive member of the community at RHS.”

“She also has shown a tremendous level of care for the community,” he said. “Raising funds for March of Dimes, organizing the Giving Tree and food drives, and helping to bring NAMI Maine (National Alliance on Mental Illness) for a presentation for her fellow students.”

Sloat admitted that her senior year, and part of junior year that was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, was difficult.

She attended school on a hybrid schedule, mainly because it is easier to commute from her divorced parents’ houses, but she found it nerve-racking at first to adjust to the new classes.

“I was really nervous. I didn’t know what it would look like,” Sloat said. “Once it started, the online curriculum really worked for me. I’m an independent learner for the most part.”

After getting the hang of the classes at Richmond, she opted to take a couple of college courses through the University of Maine System. She enrolled in a psychology class, sociology, personal finance and two English classes, earning 12 college credits before the start of her first year of college in the fall.

Students in Maine are able to take up to 12 credits for free through the Department of Education before their graduation. Some schools may take the credits, others may not.

Sloat said she enjoyed some of the college classes more than the high school offerings, because she worked well with an organized schedule through the higher education syllabus. She said she managed to stay organized through varsity soccer and being vice president of the National Honor Society and the Key Club, by making checklists. On top of that, she works at Starbucks after school.

“I feel way more prepared,” Sloat said of taking college classes. “I could earn 12 credits online, and I think I was pretty successful in that sense.”

She enjoyed her psychology class the most and said it’s part of the reason why she chose to major in the subject at Husson. Her experience helping friends through difficult situations also played a part in that choice.

Sloat wants to potentially use the major to find out more about herself and others, with the goal of incorporating it into a career.

“I’ve always been the kind of person people turn to when they are facing difficult challenges or issues in their lives,” she said. “I’ve always felt gifted in helping people and giving advice. I think (bringing) someone help is really beautiful.”

In her spare time, Sloat enjoys collecting crystals and gemstones. She said there is a certain way to take care of the stones and if someone other than her touches them, it is bad luck.

“I think it describes me well,” she said. “My dad doesn’t believe in it, but I think it’s real.”


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