Lisbon High School Valedictorian Madison Ryder delivering her speech at the 2021 graduation ceremony. C. Thacher Carter / The Times Record

Sixty-six Lisbon High School students received diplomas Sunday in an in-person graduation ceremony at the school gymnasium that mirrored the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and the pandemic.

Each student was given 10 tickets to invite family and friends to the graduation.

Speakers  included Class President Emily Chapman, Class Vice President Kali Feehan, Class Advisor Judy Roy and Valedictorian Madison Ryder.

“To you all, you will have opportunities in your life to do things that you are unsure if you can do, others will believe in you,” Roy said to the seniors. “Accept those challenges and see where those opportunities bring you.”

Chapman, who will be going on to Saint Joesph’s College of Maine to study criminal justice, said in an interview before the ceremony that she believes the class of 2021 will be remembered as a resilient and close-knit class.

“Even before the pandemic we were always very resilient and tried our best at everything,” Chapman said, noting that her class was one of the smallest in the school at all times. “We all got along very well.”

Superintendent Richard Green thanked school’s staff before presenting diplomas.

“While today marks the end of our high school careers, this day also marks the beginning to the rest of our lives,” said Ryder. “We will each be in new surroundings with new people experiencing new things all in an attempt of discovering our individual purposes in life.”

Students interviewed before the ceremony both reminisced on their time at Lisbon High School and expressed excitement to be graduating.

Senior Lynn Feely said she was both excited to graduate and thankful to have the opportunity to do so in a more normal manner that the pervious class. 

“I’m excited to graduate because it’s been, what, 12 years,” said Lisbon High School Senior Justin Le. “Not that this place is bad, but I made some good memories (and) it’s time to do something different.”

Le said he will remember playing baseball, football and other sports during his time at Lisbon High. He said that while remote learning throughout the COVID-19 pandemic was not ideal, he believes his class got through it pretty well.

Senior Zachary Barry said that while he was excited for graduation, he was also a little bit nervous to be on the road of becoming an adult.

“I did alright with remote learning but I know some people struggled,” Barry said, regarding the impacts of COVID-19. “One thing I didn’t like was not being able to see all my friends everyday.”

Barry said that next he will going into the radio communications field.

Senior Megan Libby, who will be attending the University of New England in the fall to study nursing, said she was also looking forward to graduating, and proud of her class for pushing through the pandemic.

“I like this place, I like the people, but I can’t get out of here fast enough,” said senior Austin Hawks. “It’s been certainly rough, especially with the lack of actual face to face interaction,” Hawks said on the impacts of COVID-19 in the classroom. Hawks said he will have fond memories of the Dungeon and Dragons Club at the school.


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