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Graduates Urged to Aim High, Be Kind, Take Breaks

Sanford High graduates

Led by Class President, Tatum Milley, the 231 graduates of Sanford High School’s Class of 2024 turned their tassels together after the final diploma was awarded.


By Sam Bonsey, Sanford Schools Communications Coordinator

Valedictorian Zach Parison shared valuable life lessons he said were inspired by his beloved dog, Shami. He spoke about the importance of making connections, finding a balance between productivity and fun, and maintaining a positive outlook.

“Life is all about finding the balance between being productive and having fun,” he said. “Take breaks or else you won’t be able to be productive and be productive or else you won’t be able to take breaks.”

Salutatorian Aidan Gendron reflected on the 13-year journey he and his classmates had shared. While acknowledging the bittersweet nature of this transition, Gendron urged his peers to embrace the future wholeheartedly. “I urge you to take this moment in time, this celebration, to look back up and aim even higher than before, rocketing up into the stars,” he said. “Chase your dreams, and enjoy the chase.”

Guest speaker Beth Letourneau, director of school counseling, emphasized the importance of forming meaningful connections throughout life. “What matters most in life is people. And finding your people is the most important thing you will do in your life,” she told the graduates. Letourneau encouraged the Class of 2024 to be inclusive and kind to all, saying, “Treat everyone well whether they’re your people or not…It takes nothing to offer a smile or a kind word to someone.”

Before presenting diplomas to all graduates, Principal Amanda Doyle presented four prestigious awards. Sophia Tounge received the Alumni Cup awarded by the Sanford Alumni Association to the graduating senior with the highest verified number of total service hours to the school and local community.

Hailey Tarbox was honored with the Tribune Cup, which was awarded to a girl who has demonstrated character and leadership and exhibited superior physical and mental achievement.

Tanner McCann was honored with the Campbell Cup for remarkable improvement in athletics, scholarship, and character. And Aidan Gendron received the Sanford High School Achievement Cup for excellence in school activities.

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