St. John Valley

Wisdom High School graduates smallest class ever, but they are ‘a force to be reckoned with’

ST.AGATHA, Maine — Wisdom High School held a commencement ceremony for 10 members of the Class of 2021 on Saturday, the smallest graduating class in the history of the school. 

“While they may be small in number they have been big in accomplishments and achievements,” Principal Ralph Fantasia said at the ceremony. 

“You have before you skilled and accomplished musicians and singers, National Honor Society members, students who have taken numerous early college and blended learning courses, students who have been competing at the varsity level in their sports since they were in eighth grade, students who have applied and honed their skills at the tech center, been consistently on the honor roll who have worked and volunteered within their communities,” Fantasia said.

Fantasia recognized each of the graduates individually during his speech, pointing out positive characteristics he has taken notice of about each one. 

Among them was Kody Albert.

When it appeared Wisdom lacked enough boys soccer players to field a team, Albert came through for his fellow students.

“He stepped up to help our school out in a very selfless way,” Fantasia said. “Kody took it upon himself to offer his services to join the team, even though soccer was not his thing; he helped out because he was needed and to me that speaks volumes of his character.”

Fantasia also took note of student Matthew Picard’s “quick wit, sense of humor and knack for working with computers.”

“I think Matt may have read almost every single book in our library at one point,” Fantasia said. 

Andrew Oakes is “an awesome bass player” and “a Rubik’s Cube wizard,” Fantasia said.

Emma Chamberland, honor essayist, encouraged her fellow classmates not to fear failure. 

“I challenge each and every one of you to go out and be bold, take a chance on yourself — you never know what may happen,” Chamberland said. “No obstacle is too big for you to overcome when you view life from the standpoint of win or learn rather than win or lose.”

Salutatorian Savanna Hanlin described the small graduating class as a family, and shared how they supported her during a crisis in her own life. 

“When we were in the seventh grade, my grandmother passed away. I returned to school the next day to find my locker filled with handmade sympathy cards from my class,” she said.  

Guidance counselor Tammy Lothrop announced that 90 percent of the graduates have been accepted to two- and four-year college programs, and have acquired more than $54,000 in scholarship money.

“We’ve always been a small class but we’ve always been a force to be reckoned with,” Hanlin said.

The 10 members of the Wisdom High School Class of 2021 are: Kody Albert, Jonah Babin, Emma Chamberland, Caitlyn Chasse, Sierrah Davenport, Savanna Hanlin, Earl McGlaughlin, Andrew Oakes, Lauren Paradis and Matthew Picard. 

Class valedictorian is Lauren Paradis. 

“You are a small class from a small school in a small state, but don’t let that deter you from accomplishing big things,” Fantasia said.

ST. AGATHA, Maine — June 12, 2021 — Members of the Wisdom High School Class of 2021 greet friends, family and community members outside the school following a commencement ceremony on Saturday. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

ST. AGATHA, Maine — June 12, 2021 — Wisdom High School Class of 2021 graduate Jonah Babin (right) along with his fellow classmates, greets friends, family and community members outside the school following a commencement ceremony on Saturday. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

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