Standing proud at graduation
Kashechewan celebrates Grade 8 grad
The girls were resplendent in their glittering gowns and the boys cut fine figures in their shining suits, ties and even one fedora.
The Grade 8 students of Kashechewan’s St. Andrews School were graduating and every one of the 18 graduates shone like a star.
Most with huge smiles and wide eyes, but a few with shy hands covering their faces, they each strode proudly up the long runway to end one journey and begin another.
Beaming parents and grandparents, cheering sisters and brothers and pleased aunties and uncles witnessed the procession.
Gold and blue banners and crepe paper festooned the head table where the students were first honoured with a feast prepared entirely by high school teacher Hayden George’s Food and Nutrition class. It included turkey with stuffing, fresh vegetables, garden salad and pan-roasted potatoes. And to top it all off there was a huge chocolate cake.
This was followed by some thought-provoking speeches to the grads. First-year teacher Kathleen Swain cried when she spoke to her students.
“I want you to know you have the ability and the power to be anything you want,” she said.
“It starts with a dream. Let yourself dream, then make a plan and go for it. Even in the toughest of times, always believe in yourself. And believe you can make your dreams real.”
In his remarks, principal George Combden also asked the students to consider their futures. He declared they all had the ability to graduate from high school in four years time and he challenged them to set that goal for themselves.
Teacher Steve Wagar declared the Grade 8 graduates “a spirited and passionate bunch.”
He said their unique energy had taught him how to be a better communicator. Keynote speaker and Kashechewan resident Priscilla Friday, a community registered nurse, told the grads higher education was hard work but well worth the effort.
The awards were the highlight of the evening. Class valedictorian Darwyn Friday said he was a little nervous before making his speech.
“I was very proud of myself. I knew my family was watching and they were very proud of me too, so that made me feel good,” Friday said.
Michelle Lazarus, beautiful in a silky green dress, won the Anna Debassige Memorial Award for outstanding involvement in the community.
“I felt great walking up on to the stage to receive it, but shy and nervous at the same time. I was so excited to get an award.”
Thunderous applause erupted when Warren Wynne was given a special award for being the hardest working student in the 2010 graduating class.
Wynne was thrilled to receive the gift of a Nintendo Wii system for persevering through his studies.
Other award winners were Lexie Friday and Billy Hughie for proficiency in Cree language, Katharine Lazarus and Dylan Stephen for best in physical education, Ariel Goodwin and Moses Wynne for most improved students, Latea Stephen and Darwyn Friday for highest in academics, and Michelle Lazarus and Billy Hughie for best all-round students.
Email to a Friend
add to del.icio.us