Sitting outside Up-Island Cronig’s earlier this week, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School’s 2008 valedictorian Truman French appeared to wearing much of the earth he had shifted around a Chilmark home that day, during a 12-hour landscaping shift.

“I’m trying to get a couple years’ college paid for,” he explained. Along with the rest of his class, Truman finished his final classes less than a week ago.


There was no fighting to the top this year. No tooth and
nail-clawing to inch past the next-highest class rank, no daily status
updates with the guidance department computer system, no strategic
scheduling of classes to yield a higher-weighted grade point average,
regardless of interest in the subjects.