“This is Only the Beginning,” was the theme of G. P. Vanier School Valediction 2017, celebrated on May 20.
The excitement at facing new endeavours in life and career was evident in the graduating students and shared by their proud parents and of course their teachers who had guided those students’ personal development and stimulated their intellectual curiosity up to this important juncture.
As they stepped forward to receive their diploma from Principal Bob Owens and have a brief biography read, the young men and women looked poised, self-assured and maybe keen to get through the formalities.
The masters of ceremony were Carolyn Giroux and Monique Dubrule. The guests of honour included members of the Board of Trustees, Lynn Skrepnek and Karin Scholl and High Prairie School Division Deputy Superintendent Margaret Hartman.
Following the procession of faculty, staff and the 46 graduates who took their places on stage, the first group of 12 received their diplomas.
Principal Bob Owens presented his address, welcoming everyone and wishing the graduates the best in the future.
Owens also offered the graduates some valuable guidance by citing three simple but important things that can ensure a fulfilling life: pursuing one’s passion, companionship and community.
He told the graduates to find their passion, to seek out the things that they are good at and while it may not be their career, it will sustain them.
He also recommended that they find a special person to share that passion with and to become active members of their community, to be a part of the place they are living in.
Owens concluded by saying, “My wish for the class 2017 is that you do for other people because it is the right thing to do and then you will be better people for it.”
Karin Scholl, representing High Prairie School Division No. 48, also spoke at the ceremony. She told the graduates that “your first 18 years were ours, your parents and family to guide you and support you in all you can become,” and she expressed hope that they had given the graduates the solid foundation they need to take the next step to a new beginning.
“I wish for you to always strive to become better informed, remain open to new ideas, invite different perspectives into your consciousness and allow yourself to accept that there is always more that you can learn,” she said.
Danika Bouvier, chosen to deliver the Valedictorian’s Address, began by offering “a huge thank you to our parents, teachers, families, friends and countless community members.” On behalf of her fellow graduates, Bouvier thanked the teachers for always having their backs and for giving them a push even with they didn’t realize they needed a push.
“Without that support we would not be standing up here on the stage. Thank you to all the teachers and staff for all they have done for us over the past six years… Although most of us are excited to leave and to finally start our own lives, today is still bitter sweet,” she said.
Following the Valediction ceremony at G.P. Vanier, the celebration continued at a reception at Centre Chevaliers.