SIDNEY — Maine Arts Academy celebrated the class of 2022 at a June 3 graduation. This was the fifth graduating class at the school, which opened the fall of 2016.

The evening’s ceremony began with a performance by the MeAA Jazz Band followed by opening remarks by Mary Heather King, head of school, and “The Star-Spangled Banner” performed by the MeAA Chamber Singers. Attendees also witnessed a piano performance of Chopin’s “Nocturne in Eb Major” by Juana Ramos, an exchange student from Spain, as well as Lisbon Falls resident Sophia McFadden singing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” accompanied on the piano by James Lawson of Winthrop.

Class Essayist Quinton Tiner of Waterville was the first student to address the students, staff, families and guests. Quinton praised Maine Arts Academy for being a place where he learned to come out of his shell. He plans to master the family trade business.

Salutatorian Lillian Meader of Farmingdale spoke of coming to a new school and it being her other family. Meader plans on attending Emmanuel College for art therapy.

Valedictorian Cecelia Turner of Unity recited a favorite poem, “As A Human Being” by Jericho Brown, and spoke of perseverance. Turner plans on attending Bennington College for literature and philosophy.

Guest speaker John Wiggin talked about founding the school and watching its growth, much like the growth of the students that attend, but from the viewpoint of Tahoe, his dog, who lives on campus.

The following scholarships were awarded: The Robin Taylor Neal Scholarship to Kloe McEachrin of Palmyra; the MELMAC Foundation Scholarship to Zion Lawrence of Belgrade; and the Senator George Mitchell Scholarship to Sophia McFadden.

The school announced the retirement of longtime faculty member John Neal. Neal had been with the school since its opening.

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