Deering High School held its 142nd graduation Thursday at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, awarding diplomas to 206 students.

The ceremony included remarks by interim Superintendent Jeanne Crocker, music performed by students, and the presentation of diplomas. Mayor Ethan Strimling and members of the Portland Board of Education attended, said the school department in a news release.

Deering Principal Ira Waltz encouraged the graduates to “stop, look back and smile on your years at Deering.” Waltz encouraged graduates who leave Maine to return one day and consider settling down in Portland.

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take risks,” senior Salim Salim told his classmates. “Don’t ask, what do I want be when I grow up? Ask who do I want to be when I grow up?”

Valedictorian Kristin Francoeur spoke about the memories from Deering High that she and her classmates will treasure throughout their lives.

“It’s time to make a new memory,” Francoeur said.


Salutatorian Isaac Finberg said that while it’s important to prepare for some things in life, it doesn’t hurt to just “wing it” sometimes.

“Don’t be afraid to do something unpredictable and out of the ordinary,” Finberg urged the graduates.

Deering High School describes itself as the most diverse high school north of Boston.

Casco Bay High School, one of three high schools in Portland, held its graduation Thursday evening. Portland High School graduated 191 students in a ceremony Wednesday evening at the Merrill Auditorium.

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