FARMINGDALE — In a few weeks, Samuel Thibeault expects to trade early mornings getting ready for school for even earlier mornings getting ready for work.

Thibeault, who graduated Sunday morning from Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale, is to begin a job at Bath Iron Works before the end of the month.

“I felt like I was ready to be able to go into the adult world and start doing my own life,” Thibeault, 18, said last week.

Senior Samuel Thibeault prepares Sunday morning for the graduation march at Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

Thibeault was able to take this step because of a two-year vocational program he completed at the Capital Area Technical Center in Augusta, which he pursued thanks to his early interest in science and, specifically, electricity.

He opted to take to take that path because it advanced his progression in the profession. He has completed the course as a journeyman-in-training, he said, which puts him ahead of where he would otherwise be in his quest to become an electrician.

In the longer term, Thibeault is thinking about running his own company.


“If  you want to bank real money, you want to be the one owning your own company,” he said. “For me, just starting to be able to do a job where I get paid well young to start saving up money was really important.”

Hall-Dale High School graduation ushers Jackson Leach and Dorothy Ives lead the class of 2022 into the graduation ceremony at Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

Thibeault said he sees the start of that at Bath Iron Works, where he can earn a livable wage and continue to build skills that began at CATC and with Jobs for Maine Graduates, all of which helped him build skills needed to find and get the job he wanted.

Among the things he learned, he said, was to take his time figuring how to do a task and do it correctly, so he need not spend time fixing mistakes.

“It just seems like an opportunity I could take,” he said, “to be able to start a company in the future, if that’s really what I want to do.”

But before Thibeault can do any of that, he had to finish his final high school duty: graduation.

On a breezy morning under a canopy of puffy, white clouds, Thibeault joined 71 classmates in trooping across Hall-Dale’s athletic field to take his place in the grandstand.


Senior Allie Young is recognized Sunday morning for academic achievement during the graduation ceremony at Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

On the field, family members and friends sat on camp or folding chairs brought from home, with some guests wrangling toddlers and children who might be making their own graduation march in 10 or 15 years.

Even as Principal Mark Tinkham and certain students delivered speeches with advice for the graduates — move outside comfort zones, embrace new experiences and carry with them the memories of their time at school — Thibeault has some of his own advice to offer.

If students do not know what they want to do, he suggested they give vocational education a try. If they do not like it, they can always try something else.

“I just want people to be able to not feel nervous about going to vocational schools,” he said. “The thing about vocational schools is people think it’s like a dummy school. Like it’s stupid people or it’s people who are failing out of high school, so they go to vocational schools. That’s not always the case.”

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