Georges P. Vanier held their valediction ceremony May 20 and Danika Bouvier was the student to address fellow classmates.
Here is the full text of her address.
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the Valediction ceremony for the class of 2017! On behalf of my fellow graduates, I would like to thank everyone for being here today. It is a huge honor to have been chosen to represent the class of 2017 as valedictorian, a task of which I accept wholeheartedly.
Congratulations everyone, we made it and so far nobody has tripped! To begin, I would like to point out that there are so many people without whom this day would not be possible and that we owe much gratitude, and so a huge thank you to our parents, teachers, family, friends, and countless community members.
Parents, thank you for your everlasting support and relentless effort. Thank you for always having our backs, regardless of what we did and for pushing us even when we didn’t think we needed pushing.
You had the difficult task of having to watch us make mistakes, while only hoping that we would learn from them. You taught us the things that we didn’t learn in class, like how to drive a vehicle, how to mend a broken heart, and about the birds and the bees (even if you were the last people we wanted to hear it from).
You were with us every step of the way and without you we would not be standing up here on this stage. We cannot thank you enough for the impact you’ve had on our lives.
Thank you to all the teachers and staff for all that you have done for us over the past six years. You have dedicated so much of your time to our education, all the while ensuring that we had a good time. Mrs. Heckbert, between all the amazing band trips and band class itself, we managed to make some incredible memories and have some great times (while always behaving of course). Your contagious enthusiasm and good sense of humor never failed to brighten our day. I can easily say that you have left your mark on this class. Thank you for giving us the gift of music!
Mr. Sutton, although we may never be able to properly mimic your laugh, we have certainly tried. At least we can say that we have succeeded in getting your real laugh out of you (Which I’m sure is NOT because of our inappropriate jokes). I have to say, there is nothing quite like being able to shoot your physics teacher with an elastic gun or having the thrill of shooting hundred year old marshmallows across the hallway with a homemade catapult.
Mme. Simard, despite our lack of enthusiasm in French, you have endlessly tried to spark our interest and to help us grow an appreciation towards the language. Whatever you did must have worked because I will sheepishly admit… I may have bought a French song. Mme. Servant, you’ve been a great teacher and thanks to your funny acronyms and horribly nerdy videos, there are definitely some formulas that we may never forget. You have always had high expectations for everyone and I think that encouraged a lot of us.
Mme. Blanchette, your science classes were always fun. I mean between slicing open a pig eyeball, dissecting a fetal pig to then getting to play with its intestines, listening to your famous meiosis square dance, and playing competitive games of Kahoot (and when I say competitive I mean competitive), how could we not enjoy them? You’ve been a teacher that every student liked and for good reason.
Mme. Giroux, although études sociales was not many people’s favourite course, it was our favourite class thanks to your admirable optimism, always perfectly timed sarcasm, and many relatable stories.
Throughout the semester, our class of only seven managed to create some perfect inside jokes, have fun (even though we were ALWAYS on topic), and even managed to learn a little (I don’t think any of us will ever mix up semener and semer again, right Mme. Giroux?) And so to all our teachers, you have shown us that your job isn’t only what you do, but who you are because you are truly great. Thank you so much for everything!
So graduates, today’s the day, the day that we have been waiting for for as long as we can remember and the day that we have been planning for for months. It has been but a distant vision for as long as we can remember and suddenly it has become a reality. Although most of us are excited to leave and to finally start our own lives, today is still bittersweet. Some of us may try to deny it, but we have all had a good time here, at least at some point (haha).
We have spent the last twelve years surrounded by the same people, learning and growing together. Let’s not pretend like we all liked each other and that there wasn’t ever any drama because we all know that’s not entirely true, but as a class we have shared countless memories. It seems like just yesterday was our first day of grade seven and Mr. Owens was giving us his talk about the six b’s.
Then there was Mr. T’s class and his crazy games where we would jump over the couch and race to get the chicken. Not to mention YoWoChAs, where we had blast doing activities like high ropes and the great race. Then for those of in junior high band, there was Camp Nakamun, where we showed off
our awesome air band skills and we all saw one moon too many that night (if you know what I mean).
For those of us in high school band, there was our Vancouver trip and that crazy fifteen hour bus ride. And let’s not forget our campus tours where we probably witnessed the most intense roast battle ever and officially seen enough banana hammocks to last us all an entire lifetime and we all know who’s to blame for that. Also, who would’ve thought sneaking out of a hotel room would be so hard, but I guess Ms. Jolie has better eyes than I thought. And of course, for those of us who went to Costa Rica, that was an unforgettable and eye-opening trip that we will remember for the rest of lives.
High school has taught us many valuable lessons and has given us the tools to succeed in life, now it is up to us to use them.
When we have a goal or a dream we will need to work hard and persevere because our vision for the future will not magically be realized. Everything we do, we should do wholeheartedly and to the best of our abilities.
Tim McGraw said it best, “let yourself feel the pride but always stay humble and kind.” We also can never be too appreciative, saying thank you to someone goes a long way.
After our last diploma in June, we are going to walk out of these doors for the last time and our lives are going to change forever. Some of us will leave and never look back, while some of us might actually miss it. Regardless of what we decide to do after high school we have to find a place where we will shine and leave our mark in this world, whatever that may be. Some people say that high school is the best days of our lives, but I have to disagree with them.
High school might be the best days of our lives right now, but after we leave its security and familiarity, we will embark on a new journey where the possibilities are endless and we will hopefully live new and exciting experiences. I’m sure it won’t always be easy, but I hope that instead of waiting for the storm to pass, we will learn to dance in the rain. Above all, I hope for all of us, that we have enjoyed our time here, but that it will not remain as the best days of our lives because there is so much more to live. After all, this is only the beginning.
Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.
– Ronald Reagan