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Deering High School Holds 142nd Commencement Exercises

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Deering High School Holds 142nd Commencement Exercises
Posted on 06/09/2016
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Deering High School (DHS), which describes itself as the most diverse high school north of Boston, held its 142nd graduation exercises on Thursday, June 9, at the Cross Insurance Arena. There were 206 members of the graduating Class of 2016.

As the new graduates prepared to set off for college or career, Principal Ira Waltz encouraged them to “stop, look back and smile on your years at Deering.” And if they travel away from Maine, he urged them to return to the state and settle in Portland.

Waltz invited graduating senior Salim Salim, whom Waltz described as an outstanding orator and writer, to address students. Salim told his classmates, “Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take risks.” Salim also advised them, “Don’t ask, ‘What do I want to be when I grow up?’ Ask, ‘Who do I want to be when I grow up?’”

Valedictorian Kristin Francoeur spoke of the memories she and her classmates will treasure about DHS throughout their lives. Now, however, she said, “It’s time to make a new memory.”

Salutatorian Isaac Finberg said that while it’s necessary to prepare for some things – such as the speech he gave at graduation – it’s also important sometimes  to just “wing it.” He urged graduates, “Don’t be afraid to do something unpredictable and out of the ordinary.”

The ceremony included remarks by Interim Portland Superintendent Jeanne Crocker, live music performed by students and the presentation of diplomas. The arena’s seats were filled with students’ families and friends and school district staff. Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling and members of the Portland Board of Public Education also were in attendance.

Click here for information about the DHS Class of 2016 Top Ten students.
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