May 27, 2013

Valedictorians mostly plan to return to Maine schools

By Kaitlin Schroeder kschroeder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

After four years of late-night study sessions, sports practices and volunteer work, this year's area high school valedictorians are ready for college.

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Tucker Atwood

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Bethanie Brown

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AREA GRADUATIONS

• Carrabec High School, 1 p.m., June 2, at school.

• Erskine Academy, 7 p.m., June 7, at Augusta Civic Center.

• Forest Hills Consolidated School, 1 p.m., June 8, at school.

• Lawrence High School, 6 p.m., June 6, at school.

• Madison Area Memorial High School, 7 p.m., June 7, at school.

• Maine Central Institute, noon, June 2, at school.

• Messalonskee High School, 7 p.m., June 6, at Augusta Civic Center.

• Mount Abram High School, 7 p.m., June 7, at school.

• Mt. Blue High School, 11 a.m., June 8, at school.

• Mount View High School, 1 p.m., June 8, at school.

• Nokomis High School, 7 p.m., June 7, at school.

• Rangeley Lakes Regional School, 3 p.m., June 8, at school.

• Skowhegan Area High School, 1 p.m., June 9, at school.

• Temple Academy, 6 p.m., June 9, at school.

• Upper Kennebec Valley Memorial High School, 2 p.m., June 9, at school.

• Waterville Senior High School, 7 p.m., June 6, at Colby College gym.

• Winslow High School, 6 p.m., June 5, at Colby College gym.

Almost all will be attending schools in Maine, and just one will attend a university outside of New England.

For the handful of students who attended school in the same building since kindergarten, it will be the first time they've taken a class anywhere else.

While in high school, most said, they tried to experience a little bit of everything, even when that meant a crammed schedule and late nights of homework. Some learned to develop film, traveled to France, made friends with students from far away, ran half marathons or earned certification in welding. Most played sports, and a handful will continue playing at their chosen colleges.

Many want to study business, teaching and medicine, and most said they have their parents or teachers to thank for inspiring them to follow their lead and enter their chosen field.

They said there was no secret to earning the top ranking in their graduating classes; it just took hard work and determination.

Tucker Atwood, 17, of Embden, Carrabec High School

Atwood said being a math teacher would combine his love of the subject and helping people. He plans to major in secondary education mathematics at the University of Maine at Farmington.

"I think it would be fun to really get out there and propel the next generation to where it should be," he said.

He said his math teachers in school were a huge influence on his life and his academic achievement. He said they all had different teaching styles with each making an impact on him.

The teachers, Marc Collard, Luke Ellis and Jordon Emery, all attended UMF and persuaded him to go there.

Atwood said he tried to participate in "whatever I could find to be a part of," including National Honor Society, baseball and different community service projects throughout high school.

He is the son of Jolly and Heidi Atwood.

Bethanie Brown, 18, of Waterville, Waterville Senior High School

Brown said the trick to managing a busy schedule in high school is developing a sense of balance. Brown found that balance in track, which she said gave her a way to be active and be with her friends in order to balance out the school work.

In high school, Brown was president of National Honor Society, a student ambassador and a "homeroom buddy" — a senior who is assigned to a freshman homeroom to answer questions and explain different aspects of high school.

Brown said she would advise incoming freshmen to focus on doing their best instead of focusing on how their work compares with others.

"That way you're not disappointed if someone gets a better grade than you; you're only disappointed if you didn't try hard enough," she said.

Brown plans to attend the University of Connecticut where she has a full scholarship to run track. She said she may major in pre-pharmacy.

Brown is the daughter of Kevin and Karol Brown.

Holland Corson, 18, of Kingfield, Mount Abram High School

After years of volunteering at the library, Corson said she is hoping to be a librarian. She worked in the school library in middle school and volunteered at the Kingfield Library while in high school. She said she plans to major in English in college and possibly seek a master's degree in library science.

Corson said one of the most exciting experiences she had as a student was a trip to France for three weeks with the French Club. She loved meeting people and learning while immersed in a foreign language, she said.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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Holland Corson

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Sarah Finnemore

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Adam LaVerdiere

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Olivia McAnirlin

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Allie McClintock

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Carrington Miller

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Alexis Morse

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Erzsebet Nagy

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Brittany Seekins

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Evan Worster

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