"We're expecting great things from you people," Director Kevin Michaud said at the annual Recognition and Awards Night at the Waldo County Technical Center on Wednesday.

"And we look forward to hearing about your successes during the next chapter in your book of life," he added.

The crowd of parents and extended family spilled past seats inside the big-top tent and onto the parking lot for standing-room-only views.

On hand were Belfast Area High School Principal Jeff Lovejoy, Mount View High School Principal Zach Freeman, and Regional School Unit 71 Superintendent Mary Alice McLean.

Michaud noted that as skills gap statistics show, "the need for technically skilled workers is at an all-time high," and he encouraged students to be "lifelong learners."

"Pay it forward and pay it forward often; it will make a difference," Michaud said. "And embrace the interconnectedness of life."

He added: "We hope that you've been challenged intellectually and physically and have grown past your comfort zone." 

Bonnie Keim, student services coordinator, thanked and recognized scholarship donors and, in all, presented 29 scholarships.

Special recognition and awards were also presented to students within each class.