Originally published in The Weekly Packet, June 20, 2019
Class of 2019 honored at Blue Hill Harbor School
Blue Hill Harbor School awards diplomas to seven graduates June 15. Front row, from left, Jasmine Thomas, Nathaniel Curtis and Everett Carter. Back row, Elijah Breault, Emma Spangler, Kieran Anderson and Ryan Allen.
Blue Hill Harbor School ushered seven students into their post-high school worlds Saturday, June 15, among friends, family, flowers and sunshine.
“We are so proud of all our students,” said Principal Katie Truesdale, a sentiment echoed by teachers, family and the students themselves.
Elijah Breault, of Castine, was named a $10,000 Mitchell Scholarship recipient, from the institute established by former Maine Senator George Mitchell. The scholarship was awarded to students representing 130 Maine high schools this year from a pool of 1,700 applicants. Breault received the news with a look of surprise bordering on shock.
“This is the culmination of all the hard work and perseverance you’ve put in,” said teacher Brittany Courtot, to Breault and all the graduates. “Pat yourself on the back, and now pat me on the back.”
A 2012 Harbor School alumni and its current social studies and history advisor, Courtot left the graduates with some final words of advice. First, “listen, really listen,” she said. Second, “never close any door on your learning….Life is a series of doors opening and closing with choices you make.” And third, she urged the class of 2019 to “dance, laugh and be silly.”
The graduates’ post-high school plans include college, culinary arts, music, education and nursing, entering the work force, and managing a bookstore and café before starting college.
“My experience at Harbor School has helped me redefine what learning and work should be,” said Jasmine Thomas, a fourth-year transfer from George Stevens Academy.
Graduate Emma Spangler also chose to speak, as did members of her family. “You guys are part of her legacy. You’re part of her story,” said her father William Spangler. Emma thanked her classmates and advisors. “This school gave me the opportunity [to learn] in the way I wanted to.”
Staff member Lee Lehto read Philip Booth’s poem, “Heading Out,” with its opening line: “Beyond here there’s no map./How you get there is where/you’ll arrive.”
Board member Scott Gray, stepping down after six years, called each student to receive diplomas. Then, the Class of 2019 joined family and friends for a celebration marking the closing of one door and the opening of the next chapter of their lives.