By Jamie Rieger
As the 2015 Senator Gershaw graduating class say good-bye to their high school years, they are about to enter the wide world of opportunities. The theme they have chosen “What feels like the end is often the beginning” says it most accurately as they make their plans for the future.
Valedictorian, Mattias Nelson highlighted some of the memorable moments of their high school years, including their Grade 11 play and some of the pranks pulled on their teachers.
His address to his fellow graduates took a more serious tone when he talked about the future.
“Graduation is also a time to move forward. High school is coming to an end, but wherever we go whether it’s into the workforce, college, or on a Mission, we will succeed regardless of what path we choose,” said Nelson.
The students are entering the adult world well-equipped to succeed. According to principal, Derek Beck, this graduating class accumulated 3,408 credits, averaging 136.32 credits per student over the past three years. As well, 88 percent qualify for the Rutherford Scholarship, worth a total of $39,600.
MLA Drew Barnes used Bill Gates, Albert Einstein and Dr. Suess as examples of people who overcame multiple obstacles before achieving success.
“They overcame many setbacks before accomplishing great things and you can too. You have the strength of your rural roots. I think if Bill Gates had gone to Senator Gershaw, he would be richer than he is today,” said Barnes.
Mayor Gordon Reynolds encouraged the graduates to follow their chosen paths, but to remember their roots in Bow Island and possibly consider coming back home.
“I hope you can take what you have learned here and make your community wherever it may be a better place,” said Reynolds.
Prairie Rose School division trustee, Stuart Angle gave a humorous presentation in his greetings from the school board and PRSD deputy superintendent, Cal Koch told of a personal account of his explaining to his young daughter a number of years ago, the meaning of graduation.
Carson Cooper, who graduated from Senator Gershaw five years ago and went on to play hockey for Yale University, closed the evening ceremony with words of advice for the graduating class.
“Find something you feel passionate about. If you’re lucky, you will find it right away. Then, you know you have to give it your all,” said Cooper. “For every sacrifice you make comes a hidden gain down the road and in the meantime, don’t be afraid to fall. In Bow Island, you are surrounded by family and friends who support you. No matter how far away you are, they will always be there for you.”