“Stay close to the chairs so you’re (walking) in a straight line,” Wiscasset Middle High School longtime staff member and graduation veteran Deb Pooler told seniors as they rounded rows of folding chairs at Wiscasset Speedway Wednesday morning, June 9. They had marching practice under a blue sky and hot sun.
At various points, Pooler showed the class marshals – Valedictorian Gwen Webber and Salutatorian John Hodsdon – how and when to raise and lower their batons. She told Class of 2021 members it would be their show, their night.
Students asked what if they tripped on their way on-stage for their diplomas or had a problem during the march. Staff told them, keep going; and if someone falls, help them up and then keep going.
One by one, students practiced the diploma part with Principal Charles Lomonte and Athletic Director-Assistant Principal Warren Cossette. When Cossette called Ryan Potter up, Cossette reached an arm toward the track below and added: “And then the Potter clan, you will hear for 10 miles.” The Potters, of Edgecomb, include Wiscasset and future Wiscasset graduates.
Lomonte told the seniors he loved them and their class is in his heart. He praised them for completing high school in the pandemic. He said there was “anxiety, depression, addiction, poverty and strife. And yet, here you are. You are amazing ... and I’m so proud of you.”