Pratt grad class ‘On to the Next Chapter’

Young ladies are dressed up for graduation. Left-right, are Brooklyn Seweryn-Carter, Shayla Gray, Josie Harron, Jennifer Gray, Olivia Hopps, Taylor Cunningham and Ashley Billings.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Achieving a major educational milestone, 60 graduating students of E.W. Pratt School in High Prairie were honoured at commencement ceremonies May 25.

“On to the Next Chapter” was the theme for the event.

Class valedictorian Mehar Kukreja was a triple winner when student awards were presented. She won the Alberta Teachers’ Association Award for the student with the top average academic marks in the class. She also received the Student Spartan Award presented to a student who shows excellent citizenship, exemplary school spirit and is positive and encouraging. And, she won the Unsung Hero Award presented to the student who diligently works on studies, is active as an athlete and volunteers in the school and community to benefit others.

Owen Pratt won the Annah and Edward (E.W.) Pratt Award, sponsored by St. Mark’s Anglican Church in High Prairie, for a student involved in the community, has special talents in areas such as artistic, athletic and musical and contributes to school activities.

The recipient is the great-great grandson of the Pratts for whom the award is presented.

Kelly Cox won the Lynn Edwards Sports Award for the Top Female Athlete in the graduating class while Cameron Patenaude- Pedersen won the Lynn Edwards Sports Award for the Top Male Athlete in the graduating class.

Brody Kit won the Johnny Linteris Award presented to a graduating student who shows exemplary leadership as a football player.

Jaylen Halcrow won the Montana Blackwell Horizon Award presented to a graduating student who enhances his or her future primarily through greater diligence towards school and participates in school and community activities.

Matthew Willier-Ridge won the Excellence in Trades Award presented to a graduating student pursuing a career in trades.

As the class valedictorian, Kukreja thanked teachers, parents and others who supported the students on their educational journey.

“Today is not just a celebration of our achievements, but also a tribute to the incredible support system that has brought us to this moment,” Kukreja said.

“Therefore, we thank you for believing in us, for pushing us to reach our potential and for being the guiding lights in our lives.

“We are here because of you and we dedicate this success to you.”

She encouraged her classmates as they move forward in the next stage of their lives.

“As we embark towards the next phase in our lives, I wish all of you the very best for your future endeavours,” Kukreja said.

“Let us embrace the future with confidence, curiosity and courage.”

She urged the graduates to make a favourable influence wherever they are.

“Let us strive to make a positive impact in our communities and the world, remembering the lessons we have learned and the support we have received.”

Pratt principal Etta Viens congratulated the graduating class in a pre-recorded video since she was unable to be present.

She inspired the students with three simple words – stay, stand and speak.

“Stay on your track, stay on your course,” Viens said.

“Stand – take a stand, find the support and represent what you believe.

“Speak – communicate effectively, be heard distinctly, take courage and stay calm.”

Graduates were congratulated by High Prairie School Division as High Prairie trustee Tammy Henkel spoke on behalf of the school board.

“Whatever you wish for in your life, I hope one on those wishes is to live a meaningful life,” Henkel said.

“Look beyond your own success to those in your community.

“Create hope and opportunities for others.”

HPSD Supt. Murray Marran also congratulated the students.

“As you leave E.W. Pratt School and embark on your next journey, remember that you are not alone,” Marran said.

“You are part of a community that believes in you and supports you.

“The future is yours to shape, one step at a time.”

He encouraged students with five key points.

  1. Believe in yourself.

“Each of you has unique talents and strengths,” Marran said.

“Trust in your abilities and know that you have the power to make a difference.”

  1. Stay curious.

“Like is full of opportunities to learn and grow,” Marran said. “Keep asking questions and exploring new possibilities.”

  1. Be resilient.

“There will be tough times ahead, but remember that every challenge is an opportunity to grow,” Marran said.

“You’ve proven you can handle adversity.”

  1. Value relationships.

“The connections you’ve made here are important – keep in touch with your friends, mentors and community as your move forward,” Marran said.

  1. Give back.

“Use what you have learned to help others,’ Marran said.

“Your actions can inspire and support those around you.”

Sucker Creek First Nation Chief Roderick Willier also congratulated the graduates.

Graduating student Keegan Gauchier, right, receives graduation certificate from vice-principal Hillary Hinds, left.
Graduating student Shep Fullerton, right, receives his graduation certificate from vice-principal Hillary Hinds, left.
Graduating student Angelique Brule, right, receives her graduation certificate from vice-principal Hillary Hinds, left.
Graduating student Jillian Boerchers, right, receives her graduation certificate from vice-principal Hillary Hinds, left.
Graduating student Jaylen Halcrow, middle, receives the Montana Blackwell Horizon Award from teacher Farrukh Saeed, left, and wellness coach Chelsea Bembridge, right. The award is presented to the student who enhances his/her future primarily through greater diligence toward school and participation in school and community activities.
Brody Kit, left, receives the Johnny Linteris Award (exemplary leadership as a football player), presented by athletic director Jenelle Gallivan.
Kelly Cox, left, receives the Lynn Edwards Award for the Top Graduating Female Athlete and Cameron Patenaude-Pedersen, right, receives the Lynn Edwards Award for the Top Graduating Male Athlete from athletic director Jenelle Gallivan, middle.
Graduating student Matthew Willier-Ridge, left, receives the Excellence in Trades Awards from wellness coach Chelsea Bembridge.
Mehar Kukreja, left, receives the Alberta Teachers’ Association Award for top average academic marks in the class from teacher Jessie MacMillan.
Graduating student Owen Pratt, left, receives the Annah and Edward (E.W.) Pratt Award, sponsored by St. Mark’s Anglican Church, presented by parish member Sharon Cox, right. The young Pratt is the great-great grandson of the senior Pratts.
Graduating student Max Janzen, middle, presents a rose to his mother Karen Janzen, left, and his aunt Shauna Keay in the rose ceremony. Students gave a rose to honour someone special in their life.
Graduating twin sisters Aislinn Drefs, left, and Ilona Drefs, right, walk in with their older sister, Amara Drefs, middle, during the ceremonies.
Graduating students Mischa Deering, left, and Levi Langevin, walk in together during the ceremonies.
Young men are dressed sharply for graduation at E.W. Pratt. Left-right, are Haiden Cunningham, Diesel Willier, Matthew Willier-Ridge, Kilo Sutherland, William Clarkson, Teegan Sams and Brandon Willier-Ridge.
Graduating student Kaidan Denty, front, enters the ceremonies with escort Navada Caouette.

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