Graduates thank families, community... and chickens
Thorndike — Mount View High School valedictorian Anna Piotti began her address by saying she wasn't sure she was any more deserving of the honor of delivering a graduation day speech than any one of her classmates.
"I'm a Waldo County girl, remember?" said Piotti during Sunday's commencement ceremony, a comment that prompted laughs from the audience. "Sure, I may be wicked awesome, but so are all of you."
Piotti gave examples of what some of her fellow graduates, teachers and community members have done to earn thanks and praise.
She spoke of her classmate Christopher Montminy, who shaved his head last fall in support of his mother's battle against cancer — Piotti described Montminy's act as "one of the deepest expressions of love."
Piotti thanked MVHS teachers, including Janet Caldwell and Tanya Hubbard, who "taught me to be passionate about what's important to me," as well as Clayton Larrabee, a community volunteer who has been a big supporter of MVHS athletic programs.
She also credited all parents in the crowd.
"That's one of the benefits of being in this community," she said. "Our friends' parents are practically family."
Lastly, Piotti gave unexpected props to a few other local residents, chickens.
"Chickens aren't afraid of anything. They go everywhere with fearlessness and confidence," she said. "Maybe I'll leave high school and be a chicken... Just kidding."
Piotti closed her address with one final piece of advice for her classmates: "Cherish your roots here in Waldo County."
Salutatorian Wendy Gibbs traded her graduation cap for a softball hat to deliver her speech, which began with a description of what one might describe as a typical day on the ball field.
"Every day is a new game that you need to be ready for," said Gibbs.
MVHS Principal Cheri Towle recognized several students who planned to join the military after high school and awarded about $56,000 worth of scholarships to several graduates.
MVHS administrators awarded a total of 105 diplomas Sunday afternoon.