G. P. Vanier School Graduation, class of 2019, took place on May 19 under the banner “Our Time to Shine.”
Following the established protocol, the ceremony began with the graduates entering the school gym as their names were called and then taking their places on stage.
Graduating from high school is similar to travelling towards the frontier with a group of friends and once the frontier is crossed, everyone parts ways you to pursue individual paths.
As the graduating students stepped forward to have a brief biography read and to receive their diplomas from Principal Pam Heckbert, it was apparent that they have already begun to reveal their own individuality and are ready and keen to close this chapter of their lives and begin a new one of discovery and self-realization.
G.P. Vanier Principal, Pam Heckbert addressed the students and those gathered for the occasion.
“Graduating from high school is a milestone when you are ready for what is next,” she said. “In terms of your learning journey it is only the beginning as you learn so much throughout your life.”
Heckbert told the students that no matter what formal direction they chose they are also ready for the informal teachings that are coming. She concluded by encouraging students to embrace life and search for experiences.
“Go find new relationships and go find new experiences those are the best teachers,” she said. “The teachers here are really great but we know that the best teachers are the teachers of experience and relationships.
“But you don’t learn from experiences and relationships if you don’t have experiences and relationships and when you seek out those, please make sure that they are deep and meaningful.”
She finished by saying that “when you leave this school at the end of June, cultivate as many experiences as you can, nurture and feed your relationships with other people, weather the storms that lie ahead and watch your relationships grow. It is your time to shine and shine you do.”
High Prairie School Division Trustee Karin Scholl also addressed the students on their graduation.
“Today you are the centre of attention, you are the shining stars,” she told them. “This last twelve or thirteen years have culminated in this moment when we can all celebrate your achievements and anticipate your potential futures.”
The G.P. Vanier Class of 2019 Valedictorians are Trevor Jolie and Shayna Yarenko with Yarenko giving the Valedictorian’s speech, which elaborated on the theme “Our Time to Shine.”
“We did it; twelve demanding years of school,” Yarenko said. “During their time going through school they shone together and now it is time to shine as individuals,”
She ended the Valedictory speech on a light note quoting from Dr. Seuss.
“To my fellow graduates, some very good advice from a very wise Dr. Zoose ‘You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes / you can steer yourself in any direction you chose, /you’re on your own and you know what you know / and you’re the one to decide where to go.’