Originally published in Castine Patriot, June 19, 2014
Adams School graduates, speakers share farewells and memories
‘A school doesn’t have to be big to be good’
Kindergarteners through seventh graders sing in honor of the Class of 2014 at the Adams School graduation on June 13, 2014 in Castine, Maine.
by Anne Berleant
June 13 proved a lucky day for the five Adams School students of the Class of 2014—they closed their elementary school careers, despite a few superstitious murmurs about “Friday the 13th.”
Savanna Colson, Brandon Henderson, Drake Janes, India Janes and Tyler McKenney received their diplomas in a commencement marked by music, memories and emotion—although it was a few of the schoolmates they left behind and guest speaker Cameron Frothingham who shed the tears.
“It’s very difficult for me to express how proud of you I am,” Frothingham said, a former ed. tech. who taught the five students for fifth and sixth grade.
He shared excerpts from their report cards from those years, in which each of the five students were alternatively rock stars, role models, witty, brilliant and positive—but mostly rock stars.
“We use the term ‘rock star’ in our family a lot,” said Principal Katie Frothingham.
The commencement turned into a family affair, of sorts, with kindergartener Grayson Frothingham chosen by the graduates to serve as class marshal.
As guest speaker, Cameron Frothingham spoke of “the accidents” that led to particular moments, including perhaps his “favorite all-time memory” of “turning the jungle gym into a drum kit.” One of those “accidents” resulted in carved wooden flowers he created while walking his dog, which he gave to each of his former students.
“You five are truly a gift to me, to this school, to this community and everything beyond,” he concluded. “I can’t wait to see where you go from here. And please, don’t break or steal anything.”
Each of the graduates also had their turn to speak to the family, friends and classmates gathered at the Unitarian Universalist church. “I learned at Adams School that a school doesn’t have to be big to be good,” said Colson.
India Janes recalled starting school nine years ago with her fellow graduates. “[We] have always been there for each other,” she said. McKenney shared words of advice gleaned from his middle school athletic career: “Never let the fear of striking out [keep you] from playing the game,” while Henderson, in the briefest speech, quickly thanked his teachers and friends, ending “That’s it. That’s really it.” Drake Janes recounted the years, “From the moment I received that flower on the town common on the first day of school.”
Katie Frothingham and middle school teacher Bill McWeeney handed out gifts, including a rainbow pony set for Colson, with each pony representing one of the graduates, and more praise. Then it was time for the awards ceremony.
Caitlin Tobey, second grader and granddaughter of Barb Thomas, helped give out the Barb Thomas award, named to honor the former school secretary who “consistently sowed seeds of kindness to all around her.” Drake Janes received that award, while Tyler McKenney was named recipeient of the Linda Calder award, named for a former student who died “an untimely death” in 1993.
Music teacher Deborah Reinke led the student body in a three-song concert in honor of the day, before Superintendent Mark Hurvitt, School Board Chairman Kathy MacArthur and Katie Frothingham handed diplomas to each graduate, marking their final moments as Adams School students.