CLASS OF 2017 - The graduating Class of 2017 from Eckville Junior/Senior High School got all fancied up last weekend

CLASS OF 2017 - The graduating Class of 2017 from Eckville Junior/Senior High School got all fancied up last weekend

Class of 2017 feted at weekend graduation ceremony

The graduating class from Eckville Junior/Senior High School were given accolades for their accomplishment, and future plans.

  • Jun. 1, 2017 7:00 p.m.

This year’s graduates from Eckville Junior/Senior High School were met with applause and an abundance of accolades for their hard work, as they graced the stage at the Eckville Community Centre for their graduation ceremony.

The May 27 ceremony saw the Community Centre filled with friends, family, teachers, dignitaries and an assortment of other guests wishing the class of 2017 well in all their future plans, as they prepared to take the next step of their lives.

Principal Brian Holland spoke in a meditation on the theme of this year’s graduation ceremony a quote by Paul Brandt that reads,“Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.”

Holland alluded to the Wright Brothers’ efforts to achieve flight, and effort it took to put the first men on the moon as metaphors for the challenges that the graduateswaht have conquered and to remind them that no matter what failures or difficulties lay head, that they can prosper if they “embrace the unknown,” and face the challenges life will throw them with resiliency and determination.

“You’re all so handsome and beautiful, and all grown up,” remarked Town of Eckville Mayor, during her speech to the graduates, after congratulating them, encouraging one of many lengthy, spirited ovations for the grads by rhetorically asking “where is the applause?”

Posti spoke about how landing on the moon was a fitting metaphor, noting that it took a concentrated team effort to achieve such an unprecedented historical goal. Posti likened the technicians and engineers who worked with astronauts to achieve such a feat to the network of support the Grade 12s received in the community, in their educational efforts.

In honour of their success, Posti gave each graduating student a pin commemorating their graduation and the 150th Anniversary of Canada, concluding her speech by saying “you are our future I know we’re in good hands.”

Students received greetings and accolades from Wolf Creek School Division Assistant Superintendent Corrine Thorsteinson and Pam Hansen of the Board of Trustees, who encouraged the graduates to take what lessons they learned forward

The night’s guest speaker was Leah Casey, a former social worker at Eckville Junior/Senior High School. Casey encouraged the graduates to move out of the boundaries of their comfort zones, and to not be afraid of the big changes that approached.

Casey noted that “it’s okay to feel worried, scared or nostalgic…Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” but emphasized that the graduates should not “let people do for you what you can do for yourself.”

Casey touched on the main theme of the graduation ceremony, by noting that the graduates needed to be ready for occasional setbacks and failure, and need to “allow space to try.”

“Finding balance between past and future is a delicate walk,” Casey said.

She added, “some say the sky is the limit, but that depends on your definition of sky,” also encouraging the graduates to not forget where they came from, referring to the supportive community in which they grew up, in Eckville.

The graduates themselves, showed gratitude for all of the support they received over the years. Graduates Asia Casper and Samantha Glenn took to the podium to formally congratulate everyone involved with the evening, and their education over the years.

Valedictorian Robin Phillips’ speech also reflected the gratitude of the Class of 2017, noting that “we look to the future with hope and optimism, yet our minds become flooded with nostalgia.”

Phillips spoke to her fellow grads about the tremendous potential they possess, saying that “I know we will go on to accomplish great things,” before reflecting on some of their shared memories, from middle school highjinx up to the end of high school; on the highs and lows of their time together.

Phillips noted how difficult it would be to leave the caring environment in which they were raised, humorously quipping “High school is a lot like toilet paper you only miss it when it’s gone,” before concluding with how much she would miss the community and everyone who is part of it.

Guests and graduates reminisced further, as the night went on, with a slide show documenting the lives of the students, from infancy, through the years, up until recent photos with each Grade 12 adorned in grad gowns and carrying diplomas. The music was put back on, as were the lights, with a parent dance and escort dance closing the evening on cheerful note a fitting and fond sending off for the Class of 2017.

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