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Foremost’s Valedictorian off to provincial capital, beginning new chapter

Posted on July 6, 2023 by Ryan Dahlman

By Anna Smith

It may not be her first rodeo with education, but Foremost School graduate and Valedictorian Lindsie Payne is ready to strike out on her own.

Foremost born and raised, Payne has spent her entire life and her school years coming up through the small school, and wouldn’t have it any other way. 

“It’s been really interesting. We’ve had lots of people come and go. I think I’m almost graduating with everyone that I’ve been with over the last 12 years. I’ve seen lots of teachers come and go, lots of principals. I’ve seen school improve, and, honestly quite a bit. It’s amazing here now,” said Payne. 

Payne had seen the minting of the recently-opened Rodeo Academy, as well as various other changes that have made Foremost School the wonder it is today.

“When I was in elementary school, you had your set courses. And if the school didn’t offer it then you would need to do it through distance learning. But now that I’m in high school, there’s multiple different programs,” said Payne. “We have a hockey academy for students that are interested in doing hockey, and we have a rodeo academy for kids who are interested in rodeo. I know we had an art academy last year. Just really branching out and getting more involved in other things that may not be strictly academic, but will still help.”

The time has come for Payne to spread her wings and leave Foremost and Foremost School in pursuit of the next stage of her life, however, and even if she’s nervous, she’s excited, as well.

Payne intends to pursue a Kinesiology degree at MacEwan University in Edmonton, and then continue on towards her master’s at the University of Alberta. 

Initially, said Payne, it had been a coin toss between Edmonton and Lethbridge, but she’s hoping that the far move will help force her out of her shell.

“I’ve been in Foremost all my life. The farthest north I’ve gone is Calgary, and that’s just because I have family there. So it’s definitely going to be a change,” said Payne. “But truthfully, I’m not really a people person. So we were debating between Edmonton and Lethbridge. And I feel like if I go to Lethbridge, because my family lives an hour away, I’m less inclined to make friends and actually put myself out there. But if I go up to Edmonton, I’m six hours away from my family. So any friends I make there will be my family.”

Payne’s hours helping out at the library and school may be difficult to fulfill so far from home, but her love of music and reading will be close companions as she makes the move, as will her friendships with her classmates, who she expects to stay close with.

“It’s been a wonderful 12 years,” said Payne. “We’ve had lots of ups and downs in the road ahead. We’ll have just as many but probably both better and worse. So hold on tight. And just keep going.”

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