Friends and family members of the graduates watch the Brunswick High SChool Chamber Choir perform “The Road Home,” written by Stephen Paulus. John Terhune / The Times Record

Brunswick High School’s Class of 2022 celebrated their achievements and looked toward the future Friday evening during the school’s 165th graduation celebration.

“Today we graduate. Hooray!” valedictorian Margaret Chingos told her classmates. “But tomorrow has the opportunity to be just as empowering and impactful.”

Family members filled Bowdoin College’s Sidney J. Watson arena to about half capacity before Brunswick’s 186 graduating seniors marched in.

Junior class president and master of ceremonies Luke Vazdauskas offered a few brief remarks before yielding the floor to Chingos and her longtime friend, Salutatorian Sara Coughlin.

Brunswick valedictorian Margaret Chingos leads her class into Bowdoin College’s Sidney J. Watson Arena on Friday, June 10. John Terhune / The Times Record

Coughlin, an aspiring author, compared her classmates’ high school experiences to the plot of a book. As the protagonists of their stories, she said, they faced and overcame a daunting obstacle: COVID-19, which forced the school to adopt remote classes during parts of the students’ sophomore and junior years.

“As a class, we encountered remarkable hardship and came out smiling,” Coughlin said. “This is the fairy tale ending we deserve.”


The protests of one crying baby temporarily drowned the sound of the crowd’s applause as Chingos as stepped to the microphone for her address.

“I guess I’m popular,” she joked.

Chingos, a student liaison to the Brunswick School Board, discussed the importance of finding time for gratitude and kindness each day.

Brunswick seniors chat outside Bowdoin College’s Sidney J. Watson Arena minutes before their graduation ceremony on Friday, June 10. John Terhune / The Times Record

“In taking life moment by moment,” she said, “You will find meaning in the whirlwinds of time.”

Before the students received their diplomas, Superintendent Phillip Potenziano and Brunswick High School Principal Troy Henninger echoed many of the same themes in their own speeches.

“Don’t stop trying new things,” Potenziano said. “And don’t stop learning.”

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