FARMINGTON — It was unclear Sunday morning if the weather was going to cooperate with the Mt. Blue High School graduation ceremony.

Elisa Mezzoli receives a hug Sunday from her art teacher, Pam Chernesky, prior to the start of Mt. Blue High School graduation ceremony in Farmington. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

After more than a week of rain, however, the sun finally graced the Mt. Blue Campus.

For the graduating seniors, rain on their big day would seem par for the course, after years of adapting and overcoming many obstacles.

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the seniors had proven they are up to almost any challenge.

As they entered to “Pomp and Circumstance,” performed by teachers Ethan Wright and Brendan Hickey, 163 seniors took the field and eagerly waited to cross the stage and receive their diploma.

The ceremony was kicked off by outgoing Principal Monique Poulin, who recited the poem “Desiderata,” by Max Ehrmann.


“I suggest that you turn to these words in the successes and challenging times that you are sure to encounter going forward,” Poulin said. “They will provide an excellent moral compass for what lies ahead.”

Twin sisters Bridget and Moriah Reusch gave their speech together as salutatorian and valedictorian, respectively. Taking turns, they expressed their feelings on how the past four years have shaped them.

“When I look around at you, I do not see people who have peaked,” Bridget Reusch said. “We have plans, hopes, goals and, most of all, potential.”

“We know that the class of 2023 will persevere in the future, with the knowledge and problem-solving skills we learned here,” Moriah Reusch said, “but even more, with the skills that we learned to help each other through these challenges.”

Brad Couture wears his New Sharon Fire Department helmet Sunday during the Mt. Blue High School graduation ceremony in Farmington. Couture has been a volunteer firefighter with the department for two years and says he plans to continue with the department following graduation. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

With what the new graduates have experienced during the pandemic, including numerous restrictions and remote learning, high school has been unconventional.

In her speech, Mckella Ford, the senior class president, spoke to the frustration that can come with always being told what to do, and the feeling of liberation that comes with making decisions based on one’s own feelings.

“I think that doing what you want and what is best for you is much more important than anything I could tell you in a speech,” she said. “Try following your gut and doing what you know is best for you, not what anyone else thinks is good for you.”

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