Six Earn Diplomas at CLC Adult Education Graduation – The Lincoln County News

From left: Central Lincoln County Adult Education Director David Watts, AOS 93 Superintendent Lynsey Johnston, graduates Nicole Pratt, Mason Fordham, Lily Schutte, Anthony Roman, James Rackliffe, Trevor Anderson, and CLC instructor Elizabeth Potter pose for a photo at Skidompha Library in Damariscotta after graduation Tuesday, June 11. (Nolan Wilkinson photo)

“Winnie the Pooh said it best when he talked to Piglet,” said Bonnie Merrill, a staff member of Central Lincoln County Adult & Community Education, to the school’s six graduates and those gathered to celebrate them. “And he said, ‘Always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know.’”

The commencement for the program’s 2024 class took place on June 11 in Skidhompa Library’s Charles Talbot Porter Meeting Hall. The graduates were led in by Merrill and CLC instructor Elizabeth Potter.

CLC Adult Education Director David Watts gave the opening remarks for the ceremony.

“We had some hot chocolate, and we told dad jokes,” Watts said in a speech. “But when it came down to it, they spent the time … that got them to where they are today.”

In Merrill’s address to the graduates, she encouraged them not to give in to their “inner critic” or anxiety and to look toward the wonders in life regardless of failures.

“Always, always, always look for wonder every day and I guarantee you, you will not just have a good life, you will have a wonder — capital W, capital O, capital N, capital D, capital E, capital R, space, all caps — F-U-L-L life,” Merrill said. “So now, there’s only one thing left to say: look out world, here comes the CLC Adult Education class of 2024! I have no doubt they’re going to do amazing things.”

All six graduates, Trevor Anderson, Mason Fordham, Nicole Pratt, James Rackliff, Anthony Roman, and Lily Schutte had the option to address the audience of around 50 directly during the commencement.

“I believe I believe that everything happens for a reason,” Pratt said. “And maybe my dream was to be able to take this journey and help to inspire and encourage anyone who thinks they can’t do it. I know that I certainly didn’t think I could.”

Roman and Fordham also addressed the room to thank the program’s faculty.

After the graduates gave their remarks, Potter gave a speech highlighting the accomplishments and personality of each of her six former students.

She told of Schutte, in her pink cowboy boots and black leather jacket and how she sparked with curiosity. She spoke about Rackliff’s quiet industriousness and penchant for testing out of science subjects and praised Pratt’s hard work, determination, and earned success.

She detailed Fordham’s thoughtful and understanding nature and of how he finished several grade levels of mathematics in a day. She said Anderson reminded of a saying her father had about still waters running deep as he was quiet yet thoughtful and observed Roman’s sass, refreshing honesty, and hatred of math.

She touched on the struggles of each of the students, and how they worked jobs and helped to take care of families while getting their education.

At the end of the ceremony, graduates turned their tassels from the right side to the left, signaling that they had achieved their educational goals.

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