The 2015 AESS graduates

Graduation is a new beginning

AESS Valedictorian speech, written and presented by Maggie Folk and Melissa Vermette

Hello to school board members, the community, parents, and teachers. Thank you for coming out to support us on this special day. Hello class of 2015!

It is such an honour to stand up here today with Melissa to represent such an amazing class. I know someone must say that every year, but this class truly is special. Almost everyone up here can still remember each other in kindergarten, yet here we all are today on our way to adulthood. I don’t know about the rest of you graduates, but to me that’s a little scary. Gone are the days of detentions, the shrill of high school bells, and having to raise your hand to go to the washroom. But amazingly, these are all things we will all come to miss. High school is a place we all dreaded in elementary school, but are now having to say goodbye to. We are about to be launched in to adulthood with nothing but our diplomas and the hope that we are all prepared. Luckily, we are graduating in a place like Agassiz, where as I look around at all of us, it seems like they’ve done a pretty good job with prepping us for this journey.

Among us we have some future police officers, psychologists, firefighters, doctors and many more. We also have some who just don’t know yet. But that’s OK! This is just the beginning of our adventures; we still have time to change our minds over and over again. This is our time to make mistakes, get lost, and learn to pay some bills. My only hope is that we all experience as much of the world as we can, and to just have fun. Remember that when you are struggling the other 38 of us are out there probably struggling as well. What’s important is that we all started off from the same place, and hopefully we will all end up in a similar place that leaves us happy with where we are and how we got there. Enjoy life’s surprises, stop to smell the flowers, and chase your dreams. Chase your dreams until you catch up with them, because you can. This class is exceptional both academically and personally. We can achieve anything we set our minds to. Want proof? Look at where you are today. How many times have we said to ourselves “I’m never going to make it until graduation?” or “I am totally going to fail this class.” Well take a look around graduates. We’ve finally made it.

A special group of people I would like to thank, would have to be those who’s eyes are probably already watering as they prepare to watch their babies walk across this stage. I would like to ask my fellow graduates to at this time, lock eyes with those people in the audience, and say a silent thank you. They have shaped you in to the person that you are today, and have probably struggled with you morning after morning to get your butt to school. Clearly, all their hard work has paid off, as here we all are today. This is our graduation day. This is our year. This is our time to start our lives.

On behalf of the grade 12 graduating class, I would like to thank the teachers, for many of us would not be on this stage without your help. I know that we can all think of a few teachers who have gone out of their way to make our time in high school just a little bit easier. Thank you Mr.Penner for going over challenging math questions time and time again until they were understood. Thank you also for taking time to teach Zac and I Calculus during our spare, I feel much more confident going into my first year math courses because of your help. Thank you to Mrs. Graham for always pushing us to pursue our dreams. Also a special thank you to all the teachers who put up with Eric and I’s bickering and arguing over most of the time the simplest of questions, and for always taking my side of the argument. Thank you for making our lives just a little bit more difficult, because life is not easy and it is important that we are reminded of that. Regardless of how intelligent or care-free we are, challenges and difficulties will always present themselves. Overcoming these obstacles defines who we are. Graduation was a challenge and it did not come easily to most. Academically, some students strived to achieve the top grades; others aimed to pass their challenging courses, and most tried to get that B so they wouldn’t have to write the gigantic final exam at the end of the semester. This graduating class is fairly small, so I know that all of my classmates are talented. Some are talented academically, musically, or athletically while others are exceptional socially and exhibit excellent leadership abilities. Graduation is a new beginning, a clean slate and we get to begin all over again and make the future how we want it. I know a few of us have already begun creating our future with applying to universities, applying for jobs, and trying to achieve that dream career of ours. We have conquered the task of graduation and I believe we will all accomplish so much more in the future.

Graduation is just a chapter in our lives and it is certainly not the end.

I wish the graduating class of 2015 the absolute best. I have no doubt that we will excel in the choices that we are passionate about. So here’s to our future.

Maggie Folk and Melissa Vermette