Welcome to the ceremony for Eckville Junior Senior High School graduating class of 2021. To all of you watching online a special welcome to the parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, siblings and friends. We truly wish you were able to be with us in person today. My name is Kory Reimer and I had the pleasure of being your school Principal for the past year. I will be your MC for this afternoon and I would like to say a few quick words on behalf of, and to the graduating class of 2021.
First, on behalf of the graduating class of 2021 I would like to thank the parents. Parents, you are tasked with raising children who will be confident, responsible, respectful and hard working. You have pushed your kids to meet and exceed expectations with the ability to manage the harsh realities of the “real world”. Now that they are reaching that next large milestone of high school graduation, that training comes into practice. Parents, you have done an outstanding job with your kids. It has been a pleasure for staff to watch your kids grow up in front of us year after year. Even though I have only known them for this year they have shown that they are ready to be let loose on the world. I speak on behalf of the staff who have worked with your kids for the past 6 years when I say well done parents. You also have reached a milestone. This is one more step your kids are taking as they carve out their own personal story. All your hard work, late nights and arguments have paid off. Well done. Deep breath.
Second, I would like to recognize the teachers and staff that have worked with this graduating class. Teachers, today you will hear appreciation from the grad class thanking you for all you have done for them. Some will thank you for all the extra work you put in marking their classwork, some will thank you for all the wisdom imparted to them and some will simply thank you for allowing them to leave school forever. All of them could thank you for being there to help mold them into the people they are today. Some of this group will go on to professional careers after university. Some of this group will go on to trade like occupations after some time in college. Some of this group will go directly into the workforce. Each will go on their separate paths but none of them would be able to achieve their success without caring teachers willing to teach, help, coach, counsel, guide and listen to them while they were in school. Thank you, well done.
Lastly to the graduates. Graduation celebrations are always a special time in one’s life. Taking into consideration the events of the last 15 months of Covid restrictions, wearing masks in school, online learning and social distancing it is easy to concentrate on the negative aspects. Being away from people we love. Not being able to travel. The constant fear and anxiety we hear on the news. It’s easy to fall victim to negativity. However, on this special day instead of concentrating on the negative I propose positivity. No, this is not the graduation ceremony we all wanted. However, with the covid restrictions we believe this is the best choice we had to still provide a special day for you. I truly hope you find this day special and an experience that you will remember for a long time.
You are closing off a part of your life that has been your reality for 13 years. You have some amazing memories, both good and bad. Don’t forget them, use them to gain wisdom. You have chosen the theme, “Learn from the past, excel in the future”. So live up to your theme. You have in your past many experiences that you can learn from. Award winning author, Frank Sonnenberg once wrote, “Throw away the bad experience but save the lesson”. Don’t get hung up on the past and what has already happened to you but instead use those experiences to become better. You said it with your theme. “Learn from the past, excel in the future.” So live up to your theme, get out there and prove it and live it!