Originally published in The Weekly Packet, June 21, 2018
BHHS Class of 2018 begins ‘the incredible road ahead’
From left, Ashley Hamilton, Shiloh Eaton and Montana van Duijn hear final words at their graduation from Blue Hill Harbor School June 16.
by Anne Berleant
Four graduates of the Class of 2018 received diplomas June 16 as Blue Hill Harbor School teachers and family recognized them for their achievements and character.
Shiloh Eaton, Ashley Hamilton, Nina Quigley and Montana van Duijn each left their mark on the high school in different ways, Senior Advisor Brittany Courtot noted.
Eaton strove to make improvements “in small and large ways.” Van Duijn was “steadfast and unflappable…and always added a little bit more beauty to the world.” Quigley’s “zest for life” affected the world around her, and Hamilton has a “heart of a writer and the soul of a leader.”
“Six years ago I actually sat where you guys are sitting,” Courtot noted. “Take a deep breath. All will be well.”
Commencement speaker Julie Jo Fehrle noted that “to commence is to begin. This is the beginning of the rest of your life,” and followed with three pieces of advice: listen with an open mind; think about choices; and remember the value of time.
“Just because you put 25 cents in the meter doesn’t mean you have to stay there the whole time,” she said. “Every step along the way is part of the journey.”
Befitting the alternative high school, Fehrle threw her speech away after writing it, and Joshua Jones, in his final address at the school as principal, noted he had followed her lead.
“You guys have an incredible road ahead of you,” he addressed the graduates. “And you’re going to be lighting our way as you make your own way.”
The graduates returned the appreciation.
“When I thought I was done, you always picked me back up, gently,” Hamilton said.
Board president Scott Gray gave thanks to current and past board members, and to staff and students: “Nothing brings us more pleasure than seeing the results of this school.” He then left the graduates with a final piece of advice: “Don’t hesitate to take risks. You’ll be surprised at how things turn out.”
As the last graduate received her diploma, Fehrle hit the play button and music filled the air as she proclaimed: “And everybody shall dance!”