PORTLAND — Scarborough High School seniors who gathered for their graduation ceremony Sunday pulled lessons from a still-fresh tragedy that rocked the Class of 2010.

The death of Steven Delano, who was supposed to graduate with the senior class, cast a shadow over what is usually a joyous and exciting event. But for many of the seniors who received their diplomas at the Cumberland County Civic Center, Delano’s death in a car crash on Gorham High School’s prom night was a reminder to live in the moment.

Many of the graduates wore camouflage ribbons on their gowns to honor Delano’s memory.

Class President Naomi Abrams told her classmates that time will change their perception of events. She said that time will eventually heal the pain and sadness that each of them feels about Delano’s death, and his memory will make them smile.

“Now here we stand on the eve of the rest of our lives,” Abrams said. “What stays the same is the unknown.

“We don’t know what will happen after tonight. We don’t know who we will be friends with or what kind of job we will have. We must take these experiences that made us who we are right now and use them to shape us into who we are meant to become.”

Kevin Grondin was with Delano, his best friend, the night of the car accident on May 8. Grondin was seriously injured.

Grondin emerged from a coma about a month ago and was involved in another accident June 7, which sent him briefly back to the hospital. Grondin, who had graduated in January, hadn’t intended to march with his class until Delano gave him a nudge.

Grondin, 19, wore Delano’s T-shirt to the ceremony under his maroon dress shirt and tie. The shirt said “Saco Bay Tackle.” Grondin said before the ceremony that Delano is the reason he marched.

“He wanted me to be his marching partner,” Grondin said before the ceremony. “He gave me so much crap about it. I feel like he’s always around me. I know he is here with us.”

Grondin marched, wedged between his friends Shelby Dahms and Kayla Cobb, who were also close to Delano.

“It would be better if Stevie was here, but he’s in our hearts,” Dahms said before the ceremony.

Grondin received a standing ovation as he was escorted to the front of the stage by Principal Patricia Conant to receive his diploma.

Someone from the crowd yelled, “I love you, Kev.”

About 275 students received diplomas Sunday. Conant cited their accomplishments in academics and athletics and told class members to be true to themselves.

Yet she also advised them not to live a life just for themselves.

“You will see the true satisfaction and happiness comes from supporting another person when your actions have benefited the lives of others,” Conant said. “Remember the successes, and remember that what felt like a failure at the time, might (be) a victory because of the lessons that you were able to learn.” 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

[email protected]