John Bapst has bid a hearty bon voyage to the Class of 2014. During Graduation we were fortunate to enjoy presentations by several students.
Graduation Student Speakers were: Flora Yin (Student Welcome), Mikala Jordan (Salutatorian), Jill Hein (Valedictorian), and Matt Hammond (Senior Farewell). The keynote address was given by Kate Braestrup who came onto the national stage with her bestselling 2007 book Here If You Need Me. A reviewer for the Washington Post wrote that the book “can be read as a superbly crafted memoir of love, loss, grief, hope and the complex subtleties of faith. Or it can be read as the journey of a strong-minded, warmhearted woman through tragedy to grace.” Ms. Braestrup is both a writer and an ordained minister, and since 2001 she has served as chaplain for the Maine Warden Service. Her other books include Marriage, and Other Acts of Charity and Beginner’s Grace.
Senior Welcome – Flora Yin
Yin “Flora” Zehua is the daughter of Yuan Xuizhi and Lin Yida of Shenyang, China. Flora arrived at John Bapst in August 2011 and has competed her third year here as one of the top academic students in the class and one of the top fine arts students in the school. Flora has taken five AP courses, finishing BC Calculus as a junior; she has also just delighted and inspired us as a painter; and as if that weren’t enough, she is an expressive singer with a great voice. Shortly after Flora arrived at John Bapst, a Bangor television station asked if they could talk to some of our new international students. Our boarding program had barely begun. Mr. MacKay remembers going to Flora and asking, “Do you want to be on TV?” She said yes and was on TV as a representative of our international program within her first week of arriving in America.
Salutatorian -Mikala Jordan
The daughter of Brenda and Gary Jordan of Glenburn, Maine, Mikala Jordan has had a tremendous career at John Bapst. Mikala has taken fourteen honors and AP classes in high school, joined National Honor Society, Bapst International Family Alliance, Key Club, Spanish Club, Cross-Country, Track, and Swimming, and Math Team – to name only a few. In addition to all these, Mikala is a dancer. She lead some amazing dancing in this year’s student talent show and choreographed the spring musical. She is also known for her friendly smile and tendency to cheerfully greet everyone she encounters in a school day.
Valedictorian – Jill Hein
Jill Hein is the daughter of Susan and Douglas Hein of Holden, Maine. In her four years at John Bapst she has taken six honors classes and eight AP classes, integrated with her passion for music. Playing piano, reeds, and strings, Jill has performed with our Concert Band, Chamber Ensemble, pit band, and honors band, with the Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestra, and at the Kneisel Hall chamber music school. Her service to others has found outlets in school – she is one of our student ethics facilitators and a member the Bapst International Family Alliance – and outside school where she’s been part of her local Adopt-a-Child program.
Senior Farewell -Matt Hammond
Matt Hammond, son of Caroline and Norris Hammond, has been a leader in the Student Senate, an athlete in basketball and sailing, and – no less important – co-founder of the John Bapst Cribbage Club – Matt has been one of those positive personalities without whom no organization can thrive. We’ll miss his announcements and his cheering at ice hockey games.