PR High class celebrates 2021 commencement

Peace River High School graduates throw their caps in the air in the gymnasium to celebrate they have graduated from high school.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

“Starry Night” was the theme as Peace River High School honoured 44 students in the graduating class of 2021 in a ceremony June 22 in the school.

Principal Mark Owens commended the students for their perseverance during the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020.

“One thing that we have learned over the past couple of years is that we cannot be sure of anything,” Owens says.

“With all of the uncertainty of a worldwide pandemic, we have persevered and are here today to celebrate that.

“We have learned so much about how to adapt and be flexible in our education and our lives.”

Several students received special awards.

Jessica Girard and Mughees Nasar won the Valedictorian Award as the top academic student.

Kayla Stalker won the Outstanding Student Award.

Brenna Senft received the Nomad Award.

Mughees Nasar won the Fred West Memorial Scholarship.

Brandon Biglow received the Most Improved Grade 12 Student Award.

Abshir Yousuf won the Logan Pierrot Award.

Gage Gillon received the Carolyn Pruyser Friendship Award.

Amanda Loewen won the Outstanding Art Student Award.

Sarah Kyle received the Outstanding Drama Student Award.

Both class valedictorians shared their thoughts on the milestone.

Girard says the COVID-19 pandemic helped her adjust to unpredictable challenges.

“To me though, I think it brought me closer to the people around me and brought me closer to myself,” Girard says.

“When you are forced into a situation where you have no choice but to face yourself you learn a lot about your wants, needs, and who you want to be in the future.

“It made me think of the things I really want in my life, and who I really want to be.”

Nasar inspired the graduates to move forward.

“As we sit here today, we are not only graduates, but we are the future,” Nasar says.

“We are your future doctors, engineers, lawyers, technicians, politicians, businessmen, and women.”

He encouraged his classmates to focus on the future.

“So as we graduate today, I hope that all of us here can work towards a future we are proud of; a future of tolerance, acceptance and peace,” Nasar says.

Graduates were celebrated in special ways during the ceremonies.

“The ‘guest speaker’ was a video collection from many of the staff giving advice to our graduates and was played for them at the ceremony,” Owens says.

“We had introductions of all grads, speeches from principal and valedictorians, presentation of diplomas and a slideshow.”

Only graduates and staff were allowed to attend ceremonies in the school gymnasium.

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