St. Andrew’s class celebrates 2024 commencement

Young ladies are dressed in dazzling dresses. Left-right, are Alessandra Pruden, Addyson Brassard, Diamond Calliou-Calaheson, Amy Syniak, Joseah Pecpec, Syara Brassard and Karli Vink

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Achieving a major educational milestone, 16 graduating students of St. Andrew’s School in High Prairie were honoured at commencement ceremonies June 15.

St. Andrew’s principal Matthew Morrisey says graduation closes the chapter on one part of life in a young person and opens a new chapter.

“As you step into the world, remember that education is a lifelong journey,” said Morrisey, who celebrated his first graduating class at St. Andrew’s as principal.

“The lessons you have learned here at St. Andrew’s extend beyond textbooks and classrooms.

“They are lessons of faith, integrity and perseverance.”

He encouraged graduates to be positive contributors wherever they go.

“Carry with you the spirit of service and the commitment to make a difference in the world just as you have done within our school community,” Morrisey said.

“Cherish the friendships you’ve made, the knowledge you’ve gained and the person you become.

“Go forth with courage and confidence, knowing that you are well-prepared for the challenges ahead.”

Karli Vink received the Governor General’s Academic Award and Medal, presented to the graduate with the highest average academic mark in the school.

As class valedictorian, Vink acknowledged the network of people who helped the graduates reach a major accomplishment.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported us throughout our educational journey,” Vink said.

She encouraged graduates to continue to persevere in tough times like they have in school.

“Each failure was a stepping stone, a sharp one at times, but a stepping stone nonetheless,” Vink said.

“These moments taught us resilience, humility and our ability to rise above setbacks.

“We learned from our successes and our failures and through it all, we have become resilient and ready to take on new challenges.”

She inspired her classmates to make the best of the future.

“As we look into the future, we are all headed into a new chapter, one with times of uncertainty because nothing is set in stone and we do not know what the future holds,” Vink said.

“Remember, that even if you accomplish your dreams or none of them at all, you are valuable and you are still good enough because you are made in the image of God.”

Graduates were congratulated by Holy Family Catholic Regional Division. High Prairie trustee Leanne Cox was the first to speak.

“Be grounded and remember your roots,” Cox said.

Supt. Betty Turpin encouraged the graduates to make a positive influence in their future.

“Volunteer – at any opportunity, use your gifts and talents to give back to your community,” Turpin said.

“Take care of the environment – our planet needs champions.

“The smallest actions can make the biggest of difference.”

She inspired the graduates to pray often and trust in their faith.

“So, in happy moments, praise God; in difficult moments, seek God; in quiet moments, worship God; in painful moments, trust God and in every moment, thank God.”

Town of High Prairie Mayor Brian Panasiuk congratulated the graduates on behalf of the community and encouraged them about their future.

“Today marks not just an end, but a beginning – a launching pad into the vast expanse of possibilities that await you,” Panasiuk said.

“Your hard work, dedication and perseverance have brought you to this moment and you should be immensely proud of your accomplishments.”

He urged the graduates to be optimistic as they move forward in life.

“As you stand on the threshold of adulthood, I encourage you to embrace the opportunities that come your way with enthusiasm and courage,” Panasiuk said.

“For most people, change can be a little unsettling. Embrace this change, challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone and you will be amazed at how you will grow and achieve.”

He encouraged the students that graduates from small schools and small towns have the same potential to accomplish much in adult life and those from larger schools and communities.

“Don’t think that just because you come from a small town, you are somehow not as well-prepared for the many possibilities that lie ahead,” Panasiuk said.

“Remember that graduates from the High Prairie region have gone on to be successful locally, provinicially, nationally and even internationally.

“Start this next chapter of your life with the confidence that you are ready for what lies ahead.”

Graduating student Josaiah Gauchier, left, receives his graduation diploma from principal Matthew Morrisey, middle, and vice-principal Stephanie Dube.
Graduating student Diamond Calliou-Calaheson, left, receives her graduation diploma from principal Matthew Morrisey, middle, and vice-principal Stephanie Dube, right.
Graduating student Tennaya Anderson, left, presents a rose to her sister, Ocean Anderson, and Stormy Anderson, 2, in the rose ceremony. Students gave a rose to honour someone special in their life.
Karli Vink, left, receives the Governor General’s Academic Award from principal Matthew Morrisey. The medal is presented for highest academic average mark for a graduating student in the school.

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