This past week, Kennebunk, Wells and Sanford High Schools held their graduation ceremonies, awarding diplomas and recognizing the accomplishments of students under their care and tutelage for, in many cases, the past dozen years or more.
But while marking an end to those years of learning, this time of year more importantly symbolizes new beginnings and new challenges. For many, those beginnings and challenges will be found in a new classroom of higher learning — brick and mortar or online. Others will join a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces while yet others will head directly into the workforce.
Regardless of where your next step on the journey through life takes you, we urge those of the Class of 2018 to relish the challenges those choices present.
Every step you take moving forward will build upon itself to a much greater degree than before. And each step will be more your own. It will be more your decisions that will determine your professional and personal success, and less those of parents, teachers and mentors who have guided you over the last many years.
Our goal here is not to intimidate with worries of insurmountable challenges. Rather, we urge you to be inspired by the prospects of a bright future you will build. The future is yours to be had, to be enjoyed, relished and cherished. But above all, it is yours. We urge you to make the most of it, to fulfill your dreams and to reach your goals in life, career and family.
As we here at the editorial desk were once counseled: reach for the stars and settle for nothing less than success.
While our thoughts and prayers are with the Class of 2018, thanks and praise are due to the many teachers, parents and mentors who are helping to make the many graduations throughout the region possible.
These are the people who at various stages of the graduates’ school years have been there when most needed. For some graduates, it is the teacher who reached out at the right moment or a school administrator who meted out just the right amount of discipline at the right moment. It could be the soccer or football coach whose encouragement on the field carried over to the classroom.
And lest we forget, there are the parents and caregivers. Some of these wept tears as the youngsters under their charge boarded the school bus by themselves on the first day of school many years ago.
For all of these, graduation day represents an end of sorts. They have steered the Class of 2018 through many a storm.
To the Class of 2018 and all of those who helped get them to this special day, we offer thanks and praise for a job well done.