Peter Scott figured they’d asked the wrong Westwind School Division trustee to address the Magrath High School Class of 2014.
He was honored, but given the theme of the graduation ceremony – ‘We’re on Top of the World’ – he thought Lance Miller was a more obvious chance after the trustee’s recent hike to the Mount Everest base camp with his son.
Scott told the graduands they don’t have to climb the world’s highest peak to be on top of the world, they can reach that point by setting lofty goals and achieving them.
He told grads they don’t have to climb Everest to be on top of the world. The were on top right now because graduating was a lofty goal and they’ve achieved it. Each time they do they’ll see the “vista of opportunities before them” and set their next goal.
“Always remember to challenge yourself,” urged Scott. “Don’t be mediocre.”
Miller, whose daughter Jaymi was among the 55 students eligible to graduate, was also in attendance as was fellow trustee Anna-Joyce Frank. Deputy Superintendent John Waterhouse represented Westwind Central Office.
During her Valedictorian address Brooke Harker accepted a bouquet of helium-filled balloons and explained they were balloons of support, like those used for take-off in the Disney movie ‘Up,’ rather than celebration.
Each represented the support of teachers, family and friends necessary to get them to this point.
“It takes more than just one balloon to lift us up and more than one word of encouragement,” said Harker, as she snipped the strings and the balloons drifted up to the gymnasium ceiling.
Guest speaker Ryan Blackmore, a MHS teacher, echoed those words.
He spoke of an incident just weeks ago where three members of the grad class called asking for his help in rounding up some miniature horses that were on the loose. Blackmore, who earlier recounted his own high school dreams of being a rodeo cowboy, provided them with some much-needed direction.
“They just needed a little support. We all need support,” he said.
While the students on stage are on top of the world at the moment Blackmore told them not to fear the fall that will inevitably come. He’s confident they’ll find themselves climbing back on top once again.
In one breath Principal Rob Doig mentioned MHS and the great job it did in hosting the recent provincial basketball championships this year, and was quoting football coaching great Vince Lombardi in the next: “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”
He told the students they will all experience highs and lows in the future and it’s the effort they put in during tough times that will determines how they’ll do in life. Doig gave several examples from his own life of obstacles that turned into opportunities.
Earlier in the evening the graduands enjoyed a banquet that included a class history as well as a tribute to both parents and teachers.
Following is a list of major award winners announced at the ceremony: Valedictorian Award: Brooke Harker; MHS Outside the Box: Jereme Papworth; Principal’s Award: John Brewerton; Surex 4 Star Memorial Award: Ceanna Maldaner; 1st Choice 4 Star Memorial Award: Justin Tricsli; Dare to Care Award: Stephanie Atwood.
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