Jun. 7—AUBURN — The 216 seniors in the Edward Little High School Class of 2021 were urged at Saturday evening's graduation ceremony to remember their "resilience, flexibility and positive outlook."
Edward Little High School moved its graduation ceremony this year to the football field at Walton Elementary School, where students and visitors sat side by side with masks optional. The switch to Walton Elementary School came on the heels of Gov. Janet Mills and the Maine Center for Disease Control announcing updated outdoor gathering guidelines.
The vast majority of attendants were mask-free. Hundreds of family members and friends were seated on the football field, facing the stage, while hundreds more congregated on the stadium seating on either side of the field.
Despite weather forecasts that called for possible rain in parts of central Maine, the weather remained cooperative throughout the ceremony, with the sun peeking from behind the clouds from time to time throughout the early evening.
At the start of the ceremony, Valedictorian William Cassidy described his classmates as "one of the strongest classes to ever go through Edward Little."
"We should remember our resilience, flexibility and positive outlook on all situations," Cassidy said, "and we should be extremely proud of ourselves for remaining tough through all the unknowns."
And Cassidy had some advice for his classmates: Don't rush things.
"Some of us have known our passions since kindergarten and will dive right in," Cassidy said. "Others still haven't found what they find joy in. Whether it is to protect this country, to build houses, or to be a teacher, find what you love, pursue it and make a life you truly enjoy through this newly opened door."
Salutatorian Sophia Carson's message to her classmates could be summarized in three words: "You do you."
"If you don't want to go to college, don't go," she said. "Go to the military, go to trade school, take a gap year. You do you."
Carson said that after spending four years "doing things by the books to get ourselves ready to graduate, it's time for us to set our own requirements."
"We have dictated success by the scores we got on a test or the grades we got in a class," Carson continued. "Now, your success is exclusively designed for you and by you. The teachers and staff at Edward Little High School have spent 12 years making you well-rounded. Now it's time for you to get your edge back."