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Gorham graduates 33 on Friday



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Seniors laugh and joke before the march into the gymnasium. This was the 81st graduation held in the gym. (Photo by Erik Eisele) (click for larger version)
June 16, 2010
GORHAM — Thirty-three Gorham High School seniors marched across the stage on Friday, marking their final day as high school students. The ceremony marked the 122nd Gorham graduation, and the 81st in that gymnasium.

Students and parents gathered to watch the students receive awards, scholarships and their diplomas, and then move on to the next stage of their lives.

Salutatorian Kayla Galipeau gave the first student address, urging students to remember the important parts of their high school years.

"To put it simply, not everything matters," she said, "but when you look back I hope you remember your friendships. I hope you look back on your years of high school with a smile."

Valedictorian Ethan Evankow talked about the struggle he and his classmates will face in the future with themselves. They have been well prepared to go out into the world, he said, by friends, family, teachers and parents. "Failure will only come if we allow it," he said.

English teacher Joan Merrill geve the commencement address, peppered with lessons wrapped in lighthearted stories. She opened her speech with a student generated ad lib.

"Ethan, a verb ending in -ing," she barked, "Sam, an adjective."

The result was an opening paragraph that got the crowd and the students hooting and laughing.

"Today the yellow class of 2010 is running from this furry high school," she said, reading the line built from the seniors' replies.

She then took a softer tone, telling the students not to forget to be themselves, to make sure to trust when the time is right, and to watch what they swallow and "spit out the air."

"It's been an honor to be here tonight," she said in closing, "to be your teacher and to have been your adopted Gram."

Principal Keith Parent then presented more than $40,000 in scholarships from local organizations and schools.

He and school board members Ronald Ouellette and Bruce Lary then handed out the diplomas to 33 smiling young men and women, marking the final step for the class of 2010, and their first step to the rest of their lives.

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