Allison Paradis, who will graduate from Scarborough High School this weekend, says singing and theater kept her going when times got tough at school. Drew Johnson / The Forecaster

Allison Paradis’ journey through high school was a struggle at times, especially making the leap from eighth grader to freshman followed by the COVID-19 pandemic derailing her sophomore year.

“You’re on the computer all day long, once in a while losing motivation,” said Paradis, who will be among the 225 members of Scarborough High School’s Class of 2023 to receive diplomas Sunday, June 11. The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. Doors open at 6 p.m.

The return to in-person learning during her junior year was much better, she said, and “being an upperclassman definitely elevated my happiness.”

Allison Paradis as a pirate in Scarborough High School’s performance of “Peter Pan” her freshman year. Contributed / Allison Paradis

But most of all it was theater that rejuvenated her – something she took up eight years ago. She also has a passion for singing and throughout her high school career performed in four productions with Oak Hill Players and 12 concerts with the high school’s choral program.

Her favorite production was “Little Shop of Horrors,” in which she played Audrey 2, her “first big role,” she said. Her favorite concert was her final one on Senior Night.

“Theater, I think, is what brought me out of my shell a lot,” Paradis said. “Over this whole entire high school experience, I feel as though I grew over time in the theater; my voice and just as a person.”


Paradis also grew into a leader in theater and the school’s choral program, said Scarborough High School Choral Director Jeff Mosher.

“She has been a fixture of the alto section in the choral program and has certainly been someone with a lot of institutional knowledge,” Mosher said. “She just knew what the program was before COVID and what it was capable of coming out of the pandemic. That is the same on the theater side of things; she rose to a very prominent position in Oak Hill Players and was such a leader in that program.”

Paradis will attend the University of Rhode Island this fall and major in African studies with a minor in theater.

“I looked into African studies because you don’t really see that a lot at colleges, that major,” she said. “It’s looking into the culture of Africa, and I can do trips abroad,” which could include studying in Ghana.

She’s excited to delve into her major, she said, but her true passion is acting.

“I think that’s really what I want to do long-term,” Paradis said. “Even though it’s a minor of mine, it’s something I can see myself doing for years.”


No matter what the future holds, she will keep singing.

“I know that theater and choral kind of work hand in hand, but singing is something I love to do, and can do any time,” she said.

Mosher, who says Paradis “is a wonderful person,” says he looks forward “to seeing where she ends up and where life takes her.”

When asked what advice she would give her freshman self, the simple answer was not to worry so much.

“Be patient with yourself; don’t overthink,” she said. “Overthinking really got you this senior year, having to look at colleges was the biggest thing, and I rushed to do that. Take your time and look at your options.

“Really, just find yourself before anything.”

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