WINSLOW — Grace and Jack Bilodeau find it hard to believe Wednesday was their last experience at the same school.

The Bilodeaus, who are fraternal twins, were among 74 Winslow High School seniors to graduate in a ceremony at the school’s football field. It was just the third time the Class of 2021 gathered in full this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It feels kind of sad because I’ve spent my whole life with her,” said Jack Bilodeau, who plans to attend the University of Maine. “I’ll make sure I still see her.”

Twins Grace and Jack Bilodeau watch as their classmates march to their seats Wednesday during commencement ceremonies at Winslow High School. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“We spent our whole lives together and now we’re splitting paths,” said Grace Bilodeau, who intends to study marketing at the University of New Hampshire. “I’m really grateful the school put this together.”

Clad in custom black masks emblazoned with Winslow High School Class of 2021 in the school’s trademark orange lettering, graduates and their families gathered at the field for the ceremony. Last year’s graduation took place in the school parking lot due to the pandemic and previous year’s ceremonies were held at Colby College.

The scoreboard read 20 on the home side and 21 on the away side, and the bottom set of numbers also made 2021. A stage was erected in the end zone, with students scoring a diploma like a Black Raider would score a touchdown.

Grace Bilodeau dug the change.

“We’re leaving the place where we started, so it’s more memorable to the students,” she said.

Class president Jennifer Ferry spoke eloquently about a wide range of topics. On growing up with her class, going through the three Winslow Public Schools with the same group, the pandemic and the future. Ferry spoke of the uncertainty surrounding her senior year, and the same uncertainty there is to come. She referenced a discussion she once had with English teacher Mark Pelletier about the purpose of life.

Winslow High School graduates wait outside the football stadium prior to commencement ceremonies Wednesday at Winslow High School. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“So when I asked Mr. Pelletier this deep philosophical question, my only intention was to get him to talk about something to avoid reading Macbeth,” Ferry said. “But this discussion led me back to my looming thoughts of life’s meaning, the unpredictability of this year, and what truly matters on this floating rock we call Earth.”

The Winslow seniors gathered together twice before this school year. There was a senior day of sorts at the school in April and a kickball game held just the other day. Ferry spoke of a group of 30 seniors gathering to watch the sunrise last Friday and had a day full of events. Though the 2020-21 school year was marked by cohorts, with half of the students attending school each day, the class of 2021 made sure to reflect on its favorite memories and chart the course moving forward.

“This is the last checkbox that is drawn out for us, the last step the government requires us to do,” Ferry said. “We decide what we want to do next. Our teachers, family, friends, and support systems have prepared us to take this next step. Although change is scary, the uncertainty of life is why we continue to live.”

Winslow High School Principal Chad Bell spoke about lessons the Class of 2021 taught him; taking the time to become a leader amongst leaders, leaders do the right thing even when no one is looking, and leaders persevere when things don’t go their way.

“I hope you take that last piece of advice that you taught me, with you as you spread your wings. No matter how hard it gets or what hand you are dealt,” Bell said. “Keep a smile on your face, dig deep and draw from those life lessons you have learned along the way, and always remember you are just a Wiffle Ball game away from turning the corner.”

Graduating seniors Jacob Currier, left, and Olivia Tiner ham it up for a selfie in the gymnasium Wednesday prior to commencement ceremonies at Winslow High School. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Nathan Newgard, who plans to attend the University of Maine, said he’s ready to “move on to the next chapter.”

“It’s been a great four years with my friends, but I can’t wait for what’s next,” he said.

Newgard’s friend, Reid Gagnon, bound for Thomas College and its baseball program, is satisfied with how the year ended given the way it started.

“We tried to make the most of it,” Gagnon said. “We’re just happy for it to end on the right note and get all the senior things in.”

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.