Originally published in Castine Patriot, June 20, 2019
Individuality highlighted in Penobscot eighth graders
The Penobscot Community School eighth grade class included, from left, Sebastian Blackwood, Chloie Judkins, Emery Bradshaw Thomas, Cameron Charette, Gabi Lauhon, Joseph Snow, Austin Gray, Mason Perkins, Gabby Rae McLaughlin and Emma Ferden. In front is class marshall Will Gray. Missing from photo is graduate Steven Pambianco.
by Monique Labbe
From basketball players, to artists, to gamers, 11 diverse eighth graders graduated from Penobscot Community School on June 13.
Eighth graders Sebastian Blackwood and Mason Perkins identified that diversity while delivering the “prophecy,” something the graduating class does each year to make a comedic guess at what their peers will do with their lives. The wild stories ranged from slam dunking a basketball from the top of Mount Everest, to developing a video game that allowed the creator to live for billions of years.
The celebration of the students’ individual traits continued, as each eighth grader presented another with a gift tailored to their personalities.
After a slideshow presentation of photos and music, guest speaker Susan Varnum addressed the students and the audience.
“You have learned from us, but we have also learned from you,” she said.
Varnum read a poem she wrote for the eighth grade class, about how their perception of school may have been completely different than the perception the teachers and staff wanted to express each school day.
“When you came to school in kindergarten, it was all new, and you had no idea of the plans the teachers had, to shape you, to mold you, to set a foundation for the future,” said Varnum. “Thank you for letting us teach you.”
The graduating class included Sebastian Blackwood, Emery Bradshaw Thomas, Cameron Charette, Emma Ferden, Austin Gray, Chloie Judkins, Gabi Lauhon, Gabby Rae McLaughlin, Mason Perkins, Joseph Snow, and Steven Pambianco in absentia.
DAR: Mason Perkins (Citizenship), Cameron Charette (American History)
Secretary of State: Sebastian Blackwood