Mt.Ararat High School graduating Class of 2021 during the commencement ceremony at the Topsham Fairground. Payal Gangishetty / The Times Record

More than 150 Mt. Ararat High School students graduated Sunday in an outdoor ceremony at the Topsham Fairgrounds.

“The perseverance and commitment that the students have demonstrated this year deserves commendation,” said Bob Lucy, interim superintendent at Maine School Administrative District 75. “I am proud of the efforts that everyone has put into to accept challenges, apply problem-solving skills and demonstrate capacity for personal growth.”

Encouraging students to learn, grow and explore, Lucy said, “It’s time for you to spread your wings and soar like an eagle.”

Eliza Libby, the class president speaking at the commencement ceremony. Payal Gangishetty

Speaking to the graduates, class president Eliza Libby said, “I cannot believe that I am graduating already, it seems like just yesterday I was in Grade 5. We have been put through so much, but we made it. It’s been a tough 457 days for all of us.”

Donna Brunette, the school principal who is retiring at the end of the current school year, said she will forever be grateful for the opportunity the school community has given her.

“The courses you have completed, the personal and shared experiences you have learned and the relationships you have made will serve you well as you start the next phase of your lives,” Brunette said.

She asked students to branch out and test their limits as they move on with the educations or careers.

“As you grow as an adult, I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities as they come your way, seek advise from people who you know have your best interest at heart, and make decisions that are true to who you are and who you aspire to be,” Brunette said.

Sharing her experience about how she developed an understanding about learning from her mistakes, Camila Ciembroniewicz, the valedictorian, said that it’s not always necessary to be perfect. “All of us have made blunders and miscalculations during our growing up years, instead of trying to fix what is already penned on the pages of our lives, we should learn and appreciate them and move on. Let’s all go on to make messy scribbled, beautiful mistakes.”

Isabelle Gardiner, one of the graduating class’ co-valedictorians who will be attending Boston College in the fall, said the pandemic has introduced an unexpected level of uncertainty.

Students Cora Spelke and Sadie Skinner were also named co-valedictorians this year.

“I always liked clear answers, I always liked to know what is coming my way and how to handle each situation,” Gardiner said. “Despite the form of order, I learned that answers never come easy, the path is almost never clear cut and life doesn’t like to give us one simple solution.”

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