Last Sunday, the class of 2015 crossed the stage at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland as the 118th graduating class from Windham High School. With dignitaries from the towns of Windham and Raymond, RSU14 school board and legislators, the class expressed their excitement about moving on and their love of the family which lost its son recently.
The guest speaker was US Senator Angus S. King, Jr. He outlined his top 10 list of advice for graduates. He turned around and addressed the graduates instead of facing the audience.
1. Take more risks (regret the things you did and not the things you did not do).
2. Learn how to shake hands.
3. Attitude is everything. "It's your attitude and not your aptitude that determines your altitude," he said.
4. There is no such thing as a geographical or material cure.
5. Always carry a $20 bill hidden somewhere on you.
6. Be honest.
7. When in doubt, don't get married.
8. Don't write anything in cyberspace that you don't want your grandmother to read on the front page of the NY Times.
9. Treat each job as if it’s the most important you'll ever have.
10. Value your friends and family because in the end that's all you have.
Other speeches by some of the top 10 students had messages like “adventure is out there”, thank you for the love and support of the community, replace I with you and you could be a motivational speaker.
Valedictorian Joe Paluso admitted to having a tough act to follow after last year’s valedictorian created a song for the class. “At the very end of his speech he had everyone stand up and raise their right hand and then raise their left hand and then he said, "after I say thank you, put your hands together. The last valedictorian got a standing ovation and I want one too,” he said.
The Senior Chorus sang a song called "Next to Me" written by senior Ceili Spaulding.
The last speech of the night was giving by class president Ian Donnelly, who talked about how his view of life had drastically changed in the last couple of weeks and how the kindness of his fellow classmates, his family and the community at this time affected him.
In the program this was printed. “Today’s ceremony is a celebration for all of our graduates. This rite of passage is both a solemn and joyous occasion; it marks the successes and struggles that each student has met while at Windham High School.”