Vanier grads say “It’s About Time”

Students are ready to enter the ceremonies wearing graduation gowns. Left-right, are Paige Fournier, Jonah Merrier and Josh St. Andre.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Reaching a major educational milestone, 26 graduating students of Georges P. Vanier School in Donnelly were honoured at commencement ceremonies May 21.
“It’s About Time” was the theme for the ceremonies.
The theme had many implications as public indoor graduation ceremonies were held for the first time since 2019 before COVID-19 restrictions reduced ceremonies.
Principal Pam Heckbert congratulated graduates.
“Make your time count,” Heckbert said.
“Be greedy with it and share it with people who will make you and the world better.
“Use it to be the best version of yourself you can be.”
She urged the graduating students to value their time.
“It’s all about time, isn’t it? So use your time,” Heckbert said.
“So use it to discover who you are and what you’re good at,” Heckbert said.
“Learn as many things as you can.
“Read things written by smart writers, surround yourself with people who challenge you, do difficult things, push yourself, amaze yourself by accomplishing things you never thought you could.
“Live fully, productively, happily.
“Soak up every second.”
She told the students to celebrate life.
“When great things happen, acknowledge the moments and really feel them,” Heckbert said.
During tough times, she also urged the students to learn and move forward.
“When bad things happen, and they will, such as discomfort, pain, hardship – no one gets out of that, I’m afraid – acknowledge that experience, too.”
Graduates were congratulated by High Prairie School Division as Falher-Donnelly trustee Karin Scholl spoke on behalf of the school division.
“As you embark on every adventure that’s awaiting you, I wish for you to live your lives fully and embrace the experiences as they come,” Scholl said.

“Because beyond time, or regardless of it, there is beauty and wonder in all the possibilities that await you.”
She encouraged the students to move forward in faith.
“Take each step with the confidence that you have respectfully earned,” Scholl said.
“Face all challenges with courage, keeping in mind there is no real growth without adversity.”
She told students to value others in the journey of life.
“Show others along the way respect and kindness with the integrity that represents who you are, regardless of why are,” Scholl said.
“As you climb the proverbial ladder of success, remember to lift others up with you, exposing your humanity and strength in leadership.”
Central Peace – Notley MLA Todd Loewen congratulated the class for persevering in their education the past two years during COVID-19 restrictions.
“You have gone through so much, including challenging years that past and future generations many never understand the way you do,” Loewen wrote in a letter.
“You are to be commended for keeping your focus throughout it all.
“Whatever disruptions and distractions came your way, it was your determination that carried you through.
“I hope you take that lesson with you always.”
He further urged the graduates to appreciate and influence their world.
“Always keep your love of your community,” Loewen wrote.
“It’s a truly special thing to grow up in a world where so many support and care for you.
“I hope you take some time to give back to the next generation.”
Class valedictorian Jayden Boucher thanked parents, teachers and others for their support and encouragement to students in a small school and community.
“The close-knit nurturing environment that we have here is something I would never give up,” Boucher said.
“Instead of meeting new people in class every day, we are able to truly create connections through the entire student body and develop relationships with teachers that resembled something more of a friendship than anything.”
Tenille Guerette and Alex Gauthier presented a Moment of Gratitude that replaced the traditional rose ceremony.

Young ladies are dressed in dazzling dresses. Left-right, are Raylee St. Jean, Danielle St. Laurent, Jaydyn Bedard, Tenille Guerette, Chantale Bouvier and Avarie Bellefleur.
Young men are dressed sharply for graduation at Georges P. Vanier. Left-right, are Jayen Binet, Junier Capili, Nolan Yaremko, Kristopher Ouellet, Cameron Henley and Terrek Gagne.

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