News Feature

Originally published in The Weekly Packet, June 13, 2013
Eight graduate in Sedgwick, plan to stick together by all going to GSA

Sedgwick students before graduation

Sedgwick eighth-grade students pose for group photo before graduation on Tuesday, June 11: seated, left to right, Isaiah Reynolds, Troy Daggett and Daniel Gray; standing, left to right, Tyler Varnum, Kelly Koons, Ashley Hamilton, Grace Tobey and Kaula Maciejko.

Photo by Bette Britt Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Bette Britt

Members of the Class of 2013 at Sedgwick Elementary School more than filled the stage with their enthusiasm and affection on Tuesday, June 11. The eight students had passed rows of parents, friends and neighbors when marching into the lavishly decorated gym and, when the lights were dimmed, flashes from dozens of cameras throughout the program reminded them of the many townspeople proudly sharing their big evening.

The Class of 2013 was equally divided, with girls Ashley Hamilton, Kelly Koons, Kaula Maciejko and Grace Tobey sharing the spotlight with Troy Daggett, Daniel Gray, Isaiah Reynolds and Tyler Varnum. Hamilton offered gracious words of greeting, while Daggett’s closing speech was more a challenge to the future. Showing confidence that will serve classmates well, he said, “Here we come—hold on tight!”

The traditional class prophesy, remembrance of teachers, gratitude to parents and words from valedictorian and salutatorian filled space between beginning and end with thoughtfulness and detail. Unique for Sedgwick, each student had completed projects of their own choosing, which were on display around the gym and also described during the graduation ceremony. As if to demonstrate Gray’s project, which was learning guitar chords, one of his teachers and a former Sedgwick school graduate, Jared Alley, played guitar and sang to the graduates.

Always a highlight, longtime Principal Donald Buckingham spoke, beginning with words to the soon-to-be graduates by saying, “Well, we’re almost there …” and revealing details of a rainy class camping trip to western Maine. At one point, he reached offstage and produced his fly rod to illustrate the importance of knowing how to tie knots in a line that would not unravel, likening similar “knots” to connections made between students and teachers, teens to parents.

Hamilton received recognition as Valedictorian of her class. Buckingham then presented the DAR citizenship award to Tobey; she also received recognition as Salutatorian of the Class of 2013. Members of the Class of 2013 were awarded Certificates of Eighth Grade Completion by Buckingham and school board member Clare Grindal.

In conversation after the ceremony, Buckingham pointed out depth of feelings toward parents and others who’d helped them that were expressed by members of the Class of 2013 during their speeches. When asked, he indicated all eight “graduates” will be going to GSA in the fall.