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2024 Foremost School Valedictorian

Posted on July 6, 2024 by 40 Mile Commentator
Commentator/Courier Photo submitted. PAST GENERATIONS: Daina Dixson, 2024 valedictorian at Foremost School, pointing to the photo of her paternal grandmother, who was in the 1972 graduating class.

By Samantha Johnson
Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Daina Dixson, who has spent all her school years from K to 12 at Foremost School, is the 2024 valedictorian.

“I remember the moment I found out I was smart, it was in my Grade 1 science class. It was a Grade 1 and 2 combined class, and my teacher went up to the front of the room and said only one person got 100% on this paper and that was Daina. That was a really cool moment in my life, and I always look back on that and it always pushes me to do better.”

Even though she expected to be valedictorian, the moment she was told was surreal for Daina, who had been thinking about it since she was in elementary when she found out what a valedictorian is. Once she found out, she texted her entire family, who were all really excited and she loved all the text messages she received in response. “It was a really big goal of mine and I finally got it.”

Outside of academics, a passion of Daina’s is barrel racing and she currently competes in the Alberta High School Rodeo circuit. She plans to continue barrel racing throughout the summer with the Chinook Rodeo Association along with entering as a competitor in several barrel racing jackpots.

Even though she’s been riding a horse since she was about four years old, Daina didn’t start barrel racing until a few years ago and was pleased with her performance over the past year. “Each arena is a bit different, my fastest time is probably in Magrath, that’s where I got this buckle, and it was 14.4 seconds.

Before, I am nervous but during my run, I usually try to focus on my breathing and what I’m doing. As soon as I cross the finish line, all this adrenaline hits me, it’s a really cool feeling.”

Daina has several horses but her main horse she’s had for just over a year. “I think, personally, it’s a really special bond because you have to trust one another. I know it looks easy but there is quite a bit that goes into it. You have to find your spot and correct because you want to be perfect and tight around the barrels without knocking them over. There is a good quote everyone always says, ‘smooth is fast’, so the smoother you are, the better you are. I think becoming smooth is having a good bond with your horse.”

She has an older brother who graduated two years ago along with many other family members who also graduated from Foremost School. Walking through the hallways of the school, one can view class photos of each graduating class.

In the graduating class of 1972, Daina’s paternal grandmother can be found with those of her parents in classes from the early 1990’s. Foremost School graduation was on June 21st this year and Daina explained the grad is very personal
where each student creates a slide show, “We do fun things like class history and in the future where we see each other going and it’s mostly a funny conversation two people have. The entire village comes and fills up the gym here and we get to wear our fancy dresses and suits.”

Each graduating class is also given a ceiling tile to paint, and this year Daina has taken on the project as she enjoys painting. Her scene is of the Sweet Grass Hills with a cowboy riding off into the sunset and the 2024 grad theme ‘onto the next adventure’ written in text.

This September, she will attend Lethbridge College to pursue an agronomy diploma along with an agriculture business diploma, which will take three years to complete. Her future goal is to take over the family farm one day. Lethbridge is about an hour and a half from her home, which she feels will be manageable as she makes the transition to living away from the Foremost area for the first time. While in Lethbridge, Daina plans to live in residence and to continue to
rodeo during her free time.

“It’s bittersweet. I’ve been in this small town my whole life. You know everybody and what they are doing, but I’m really excited to go to college,” concluded Daina.

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