Donnelly G.P. Vanier class celebrates 2023 commencement

Georges P. Vanier graduates were honoured at ceremonies May 20 at the school in Donnelly. In the front row, left-right, are Sebastian Gagne, Rebekah Anderson, Skylar Gagne, Amy Dumont, Makenna Maisonneuve, Kaylee Fournier, Alishba Butt and Austin Willier. In the middle row, left-right, are Parker St. Laurent, Clauie Burt, Elizabeth Jordan, Chloe Cloutier, Taylor Chalifoux, Janelle Lepage, Zoey Cloutier, Raechel Regular, Trisha Genuino, Dayne Brown and Brooke Burlock. In the back row, left-right, are Kelsey Weaselfatt, Luwie Kleyn, Joshua Chailler, Gage Deslauriers, Samuel Schneebeli, Aeva Portelance, Riley Garant, Simon Garant, Brett Heckbert, Christian Mencke, Lucas Hauch and Weldon Marschner.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Reaching a major educational milestone, 33 graduating students of G.P. Vanier School in Donnelly were honoured at valediction ceremonies May 20.

To Be Continued was the theme for the celebration.

Vanier principal Terry Hogan congratulated graduands as they leave Vanier into a world of opportunities.

“We know this is not an end, it’s a new beginning,” said Hogan in his first year as principal.

“Know that you are part of something bigger, part of a long and proud tradition that is going to be continued.”

He further elaborated on the theme.

“This is the season where you are in charge, you are the writer, you are the director, you are the showrunner,” Hogan said.

“The point is, regardless of what your story has been so far, the next part is completely up to you.

“Yes, maybe the older generations have left you with a few challenges, maybe we didn’t leave the world exactly how we found it.

“But we have also left you with the tools that are more powerful than we could have dreamed of when we were your age.

“We know you will use those tools to face any challenges head on – and succeed.”

Graduands were congratulated by High Prairie School Division as Falher-Donnelly trustee Karin Scholl spoke on behalf of the school division.

“Your life is your story and your story is yours,” Scholl said.

“Whatever has been written in your story so far, whatever is behind you, how you choose to fill the rest of those pages is up to you and we can’t wait to see how your story will continue.”

She encouraged the students to continue to move forward in faith.

“We pause to celebrate you for having grown in so many incredible ways, for having overcome every obstacle placed in your path and for holding on to your faith and courage required to keep believing in and facing a future yet unknown,” Scholl said.

“We hope as you embark on whatever journey awaits you that you continue to be bold in using your voice for truth and brave enough to live within it.”

Class valedictorian Christian Mencke thanked those who served in key roles to shape the graduands into the young adults they have become.

“I like to thank all our parents, mentors and educators we’ve met and learned from along the way,” Mencke said.

“While you’ve undoubtedly seen us at both our highs and our lows as we’ve made our way into discovering the world as we know it, please know that it is your passion and dedication to us that has allowed everyone
here to reach this point in our lives.”

He further reflected on the graduation theme as he spoke to his classmates.

“Keep trying to succeed in whatever you’re doing, even if it means starting over,” Mencke said.

“Our journeys don’t just stop here and no future plans are ever set in stone as reality has many twists and turns and you’ll never know what you’ll discover along the way.”

He also offered a small tidbit about the world.

“It’s big,” Mencke said.

“It’s all up to you to know how to fill it and make it a better place.”

He reminded the students to move forward into the next stage of life.

“Remember, while this may be the end of our high school journey for all of us here, it’s just the beginning of whatever we set our minds to as we step through these doors for the last time as high school seniors.”

Each graduand received a certificate of valediction at the ceremonies.

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