Maranacook Community High School senior Lily Cannell poses for portrait recently in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

READFIELD — Lily Cannell is not your average high school senior. In fact, she is supposed to be a high school junior.

Maranacook Community High School senior Lily Cannell poses recently in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Cannell is a student at Maranacook Community High School and skipped her junior year to graduate a year early.

“I never intended to graduate early,” she said. “Last summer, in the midst of COVID, I decided to make my life even crazier and graduate early. I skipped junior year, because I started taking math and English at the high school when I was in eighth grade.”

Soon she had enough credits to be eligible to graduate this spring with the senior class.

Cannell is also Maranacook’s recipient for the Maine Principals’ Association Principal’s Award. The award is given across the state to seniors who demonstrate academic excellence and character in the community.

She said taking senior classes “hasn’t really changed” her school life too much.

“Junior and senior classes are pretty much mixed anyways,” she said. “And with hybrid classes, it helps make an atmosphere of ‘we are all in this together.'”

A plus side of the hybrid classes for her has been having the ability to spend more time with her family.

Both of her parents were at home, Zooming into their workplaces while she was upstairs in class.

“It’s been nice to have lunch together,” she said. “I never would have gotten that chance, or see what it’s like for them at work. As a kid, you don’t see much; it’s very behind-the-scenes.”

Cannell said most of her clubs were over Zoom, too, so having a hybrid classes a couple times a week and sports were her only chance to go into school.

She served as the secretary of Rho Kappa, the National Honor Society for Social Studies team and on the Student Senate on Sustainability team. For the social studies team, they were able to have figures like Maine’s Secretary of State Shenna Bellows come in over Zoom, who might not have been able to if it were a normal year. With the sustainability team, she helps with the gardens around the school.

She’s also a three-sport athlete — she runs cross-country and track and competes in Nordic skiing. Track for her is new this year, and she is running the 1,600-meter, 2,400-meter and 3,000-meter races.

Maranacook’s Lily Cannell (606) is seen during a cross-country race Oct. 21, 2020, at Maranacook Community High School in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

In the fall, Cannell plans to attend Boston University to study biomedical engineering. She chose her major as a way to help people.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “One of the things I’m most excited about BU is the diversity. I love the small town feel, but I’m excited for the diversity.”

She chose BU to be in the city and for her major, but another draw for her was the ability to study abroad. When she’s a sophomore, she’ll be able to go to either Spain or Australia under her program to essentially take the same classes.

In her free time, she likes to paint. Right now, she is painting using watercolors. She also likes to spend time with her family outdoors.

“I like to be outside, anything outside,” she said. “I’m outside right now. I like to walk, hike, swim or bike. I like to go anywhere, but with my family, we like to go to Bar Harbor, and we do outdoor things there.”

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.