THORNDIKE — Under a brilliant blue sky, 63 Mount View seniors stepped onto the stage June 13 and received their diplomas at class of 2021 commencement exercises.

The theme brought up by several speakers was the challenges students have faced these last two years of high school as a result of the pandemic, and the resilient spirit that has led them to where they are today.

Class President Gabrielle Hanks began the event by saying after today, “we will be entering the fabled real world, armed with all the knowledge we gained in high school.”

“If we can survive the Swine flu 2009, Ebola in 2014, and COVID-19, I think we can definitely survive the next stage of our life,” Hanks said.

Richard Frost, Regional School Unit 3 chairman, said there will be both challenges and uplifting experiences in years ahead. “…Continue to gather trusted friends and loved ones along the way,” he said.

“When in doubt about what to do, rely on these people to offer helpful suggestions and advice. If you don’t have enough good information to make a difficult decision, slow down, seek it out and make the best decision you can at the time.”

Frost encouraged graduates to seek justice, show mercy and loving kindness, walk humbly, and “help those less fortunate than ourselves.”

Superintendent Charles Brown said this day marks a milestone in seniors’ lives and added, “These past two years of your high school career have been unique, to say the least. As you look back, you will have stories to tell.

“Years from now, when we all talk of perseverance, we will remember you,” he said, “as you, the class of 2021, have persevered.”

Brown commended class members on their “determination and pure grit to get the job done.” He told them to always remember where they came from, give back to their community, and be the change they wish to see in the world.

Sisters Morgan and Emma Fonger are Mount View Class of 2021 salutatorian and valedictorian, respectively. Both will attend University of Maine Orono and concentrate their studies on biology.

Soft-spoken Morgan said that when she realized she would have to give a speech, she was terrified. She offered a fitting quote from C.S. Lewis, “’You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.’

“Though the world’s circumstances might leave us feeling unhappy,” she said, “you can change it to make the future better.”

Emma said the uncertainty of what the future will hold is a daunting thought, and added, “and if I’m being honest, it kind of scares me.”

“There’s no way to know what life is going to throw at us,” she said. “The only way to move forward is to trust in ourselves, trust our first steps, and trust that we will make some or most of the right decisions.”

Of the 63 graduates, 36 will attend four-year colleges, eight will attend community colleges, one will serve in the Army National Guard while attending community college, 11 will begin employment, six are undecided, and one will travel after graduation.

The Mount View class of 2021:

Kaylan Anderson, Kaylee Anderson, Jensen Aspinall, Sabryna Bailey, Starr A. Beaulieu, Kate Bourgeois, Casey Brown, Lydia Bryant, Roger Chadwick, Michael Cole, Calla Collins, Savannah Cook, Kayden Doughty, Loren Eastham, Emma Fonger, Morgan Fonger, Lucas Ford, Macy Fowler and Julien Gamache.

Also, Joseph Grassi, Evander Gregor, Cooper A. Grierson, Lacey Haight, Jacob Hamel, Gabriella Hanks, Malachi Harris, Sena Hayes, Elijah Hebert, Tamika J. Henry, Monica Hodgdon, Kyle Ingraham, Marissa Jones, Gabriel Rose Kaczmarek, Sophia King, Kevin Kinney, Hannah Lawrence, Jennifer Littlefield and Dylan Locke.

Also, Gunnar Martin, Zoe Mayhew, Allen Miller, Brady Moulton, Richard B. Nelson, Jacie Nickerson, Anastasia Oxton, Marc Pomeroy, Sage Pound, Oliver Purinton-Brown, Caleb Raven, Sean Raven, Gabrielle Ravin, Zachary Riley, Brayden Rossignol, Ruben Schofield, Emma Smith, Abigail Spaulding, Jacob Spaulding, Chase Thayer, Austin Toole, Taylor Turner, Shawn Von Oesen, Zachary Ward and Hailey Wood.

Sophia King poses with her grandparents June 13, at the Mount View class of 2021 graduation. King plans on attending University of New England in the fall. Fran Gonzalez

Fran Gonzalez

Fran Gonzalez

Fran Gonzalez

Lacey Haight displays her diploma June 13 as School Board Chairman Richard Frost looks on, at the Mount View class of 2021 graduation. Haight plans on attending University of Southern Maine in the fall. Fran Gonzalez

Anastasia Oxton displays her diploma June 13 at the Mount View class of 2021 graduation. Fran Gonzalez

Fran Gonzalez

Superintendent Charles Brown adjusts Caleb Raven’s stole on June 13 at the Mount View Class of 2021 commencement. Raven plans on employment after graduation.

Sena Hayes displays her diploma June 13 at the Mount View class of 2021 graduation. Hayes plans on attending University of Mount Olive in the fall. Fran Gonzalez

Elijah Hebert accepts his diploma at the Mount View class of 2021 graduation June 13, with Superintendent Charles Brown on left, Assistant Principal Thomas Lynch, and Principal Zackary Freeman in the background. Fran Gonzalez

Ruben Schofield poses with his diploma June 13 at the Mount View class of 2021 graduation. Schofield plans on attending Kennebec Valley Community College in the fall. Fran Gonzalez

Seniors wait to be called on stage to receive diplomas June 13, at the Mount View class of 2021 graduation. Fran Gonzalez

Mount View Class of 2021 graduation June 13. Fran Gonzalez

Kayden Doughty displays his diploma June 13 at the Mount View High School Class of 2021 graduation. Doughty plans on attending the University of Southern Maine in the fall. Fran Gonzalez

Brady Moulton displays his diploma June 13 at the Mount View class of 2021 graduation. Moulton plans to attend Maine Maritime Academy in the fall. Fran Gonzalez

Abby Raven receives her diploma from Assistant Principal Thomas Lynch, left, and Principal Zack Freeman June 13 at the Mount View class of 2021 graduation. Fran Gonzalez

Students with decorated caps at the Mount View class of 2021 graduation June 13. Fran Gonzalez

Lacey Haight marches toward the stage June 13 at the Mount View class of 2021 graduation. Fran Gonzalez

A procession of seniors, teachers and administrators, led by class President Grabriella Hanks with baton, marches toward the stage June 13, at the Mount View class of 2021 graduation. Fran Gonzalez

Seniors line up before commencement exercises begin June 13 at the Mount View class of 2021 graduation. Fran Gonzalez

Last-minute preparations before commencement exercises begin June 13, at the Mount View class of 2021 graduation. Fran Gonzalez

Fran Gonzalez

Seniors march to the stage at the Mount View class of 2021 graduation June 13. Fran Gonzalez

Mount View High School class of 2021 graduation June 13. Fran Gonzalez