Belfast girl dreams of being a singer, moves to New York City, gets offered a record deal and a lot of money, moves back home and works at a pizza shop and performs her music for tips.

That was part of the unlikely path of 27-year-old singer songwriter Lindsey Batchelder, a 1999 graduate of Belfast Area High School, and the keynote speaker for the 2010 graduation ceremony June 13.

Batchelder, who writes and performs her own songs under the stage name Lindsey Ray, said she always knew what she wanted to do — a recognition she called “just a little bit lucky.”

Noting that her age, 27, is not a typical post from which to impart wisdom, she offered the story of how she broke into the music business in hopes that some part of it would inspire the graduating class.

With her songs featuring in numerous television shows and in a marketing campaign by Target Stores, Batchelder addressed the 2010 seniors as a rising star. But her journey included several false starts, discouragement from people around her, moves back and forth from New York City, an offer from a major label at a time when she was performing under the name “Lynx” — it wasn’t her, she realized, so she turned it down — and the unexpected illness and death of her father.

Through the numerous setbacks, Batchelder said, she found her way by being true to herself.

“Sometimes the right decision is not the one that pleases others; it’s the one that pleases yourself,” she said.

This year’s graduation ceremony, including roughly 150 seniors, took place on the athletic fields in front of the high school.

RSU Assistant Superintendent John McDonald recognized outgoing principal Butch Arthers. Arthers, who has served the school district for 20 years, announced last month that he would be leaving to take a job at a private academy in Lee.

“On your new position, Butch, congratulations, but you will be greatly missed,” McDonald said, prompting a brief standing ovation for the principal.

Salutatorian Lydia Rocheleau read an ode that she wrote, comparing the future to an open window from “these last four years already covered in dust.”

Ashton Fancy read “Still I Rise,” by Maya Angelou.

Other addresses came from Skylar Olson, Class President Fannie Fennimore, Valedictorian Sierra Ventura and Renna Smith.

Sarah Bowen sang the national anthem.