Grad 2021

Grad 2021 Message from Dr. Terry Sullivan, Superintendent

Grad 2021 Message from Rhonda Kershaw, Board Chair

Aboriginal Grad Message from Dr. Terry Sullivan, Superintendent

Aboriginal Grad Message from Rhonda Kershaw, Board Chair

Congratulations, Graduating Class of 2021!

The District's 14 graduation ceremonies for Grad 2021 got underway May 25 with South Kamloops Secondary, and they will wrap up July 9 with Valleyview Secondary.

While these ceremonies look different again this year due to current provincial restrictions, they remain a meaningful way for students, staff and families to celebrate this important milestone and to reflect on their different experience over the past year.

For larger schools such as South Kamloops Secondary, grad it took place over five, 13-hour days, allowing for each student to cross the stage and receive their diploma in front of a limited number of guests.

In total, Grad 2021 is a 34 day event accommodating the more than one thousand students eligible to graduate this year.

Recorded speeches from valedictorians, trustees, district administration and school staff will be posted to the schools for each grad and their family to view. Some schools played the speeches on site as the grads waited for their turn to cross the stage.

This year the SD73 Aboriginal Education Department will be offering all 2021 Aboriginal Graduates an opportunity to attend a personal blanket wrapping/ Métis sash wrapping ceremony. The ceremony will follow the public health orders, and will be recorded on video with a link emailed out to grads, with congratulations from dignitaries, after the event.

We are gathering photos and speeches from the Valedictorians and posting them here. Congratulations, everyone! 

Valedictorians

Aveline Suttill

Aboriginal Education: Aveline Suttill

Good day respected guests, elders, teachers, mentors, family, and the Graduating class of 2021. My name is Aveline Suttill, I am Métis and my family originated from the Red River Valley in Manitoba. I would like to start off by thanking my teachers, the Aboriginal education workers, the Graduation Committee and the graduating class for allowing me to represent them, as it is a great honour to be here. As the Aboriginal Valedictorian I would like to express my gratitude for being here today celebrating our heritage.

As you all may know, this past year has been quite different compared to all of our previous graduations (except last year) with all the sudden changes. I would like to acknowledge that all of us have taken on a huge challenge, and through our innovation and perseverance, we were able to adapt to these adverse changes. We have worked as individuals, doing our part so we could come back to school, continue our education, and be successful as a group. There has been so much support from all of our mentors that has helped us get to this point.

We all have finished a major chapter in our lives and are now moving onto our next. We all have worked so hard to get here. Now, we are becoming young adults, and I believe that our generation of graduates will help change our future for the better, as I have seen integrity and commitment shown within us throughout the past 5 years. Our group has come through a time where there is an incredible amount of information being fed to us through social media. We should now have the tools to be able to distinguish fact from fiction, so we can make wise decisions that guide us in the right direction. 

We all are unique and different in many ways, some of us may have felt like we didn’t fit in or belong. I hope as we all move forward, we will find our special place where we feel valued and respected. And the relationships we've made, will continue to grow and carry us forward.

Our grad class will be remembered for our quick ability to adapt to changes, and how we were able to make the best of our graduation year with the limited opportunities we were given. I would like to commend every single one of the graduating students for pushing through all challenges big and small. And I hope that we are able to utilize all of the things that we have learned through our years of education as a stepping stone to achieve greater things within our future. Thank you, Kukwstsétsemc and good health.

Coran McColm and Angelo Eserio

 South Kamloops: Coran McColm and Angelo Eserio

Before we begin, Coran and I would like to acknowledge that we are on the unceded territory of the Secwepemc nation particularly the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc people.

The facts of our grad year are indisputable: we were dealt an unlucky hand. But we are still here standing somewhat in front of you with endless stories of our time here at South Kam. Neither Angelo nor I are short of words and I think that shows something amazing about our year. It shows that we have the resilience to flourish under restrictions and despite what is thrown at us we create headlines and change district level codes, despite the cancellation of athletics we endure and stay physically active. Despite the quarter system, despite the lack of social activity, we have created memories upon memories of what we have done here. Thank you all for watching and more importantly thank you for experiencing these five years with us.

The grad class of 2021 experienced a senior year that is incomparable to any other.

We have taken on leadership positions within this school and we have proved that the younger generation does have the power to make a difference, not just within the school but also in our larger community. We have discussed and raised awareness for plenty of different issues and topics present in the real world. We have even addressed the dress code, the results of which will be felt throughout our entire community.

I want everybody in our class to hear that they should be proud of their diploma. That’s our graduating ticket, that’s it, the slip we get for 12 years of commitment. It’s a little strange, sure, that this mighty Dogwood slip of paper gives us value but we have to remember what it represents. It proves we have a crucial set of skills; being able to demonstrate; multitasking, time management, oratory, and tactile performance skills but it also shows our determination and grit to push those last two senior years. After all, it doesn’t take rocket appliances to get your grade 10. It does, however, take just about everything we need to build a future to get your grade 12.

One of the things we should be proudest of is our ability to be able to connect with people who have different interests than us. We are able to share common ground with people who may see the world in a different light and with whom we are able to expand our own worldview. This in turn helps us to be able to offer support in ever-expanding areas. Our band students go out and support our athletes and our athletes go out and watch the band performances. We have created an environment where positivity and individuality are celebrated and respected. Even today we have an incredible football player and an alto saxophone player up here representing everyone that just goes to show that we appreciate all of the different interests people have.

Stories are what define us. My experience seeing a mathematical supergenius snipe a bird out of the sky is what differentiates me from the next person, who may have experienced a tragic day where the world lost a seagull. My experience throughout these five years separates me from you but it also unifies us. We have all seen countless Christmas plays and talent shows,  countless touch downs, dunks and spikes. Countless days where without our realization we were developing physically and as people. We strived to become someone, to build something. I believe that we achieved that. We have all built something that’s the first step. Now it’s up to us to continue and build something worthwhile.

High school was never about learning how to find “x” or learning what the powerhouse of the cell was. High school is about discovering the things we love and the things we don’t. All of this comes with the added benefit of friendships that have the potential to last an entire lifetime. The time we have all spent together is greatly significant. We have spent 5 years of our lives together. 5 days a week for 195 weeks; that’s a total of 975 days together. Throughout all of that we have managed to influence each other in ways that make us constantly strive to better ourselves. 

There is not one single person that makes the grad class of 2021 great. Our greatness comes from stories, from experiences and from collaboration. The greatness of the grad class of 2021 comes from our togetherness.

All of our experiences we’ve lived through, all of the stories we’ve shared and all of the knowledge we’ve gained contribute to our ability to walk into the "real world" with an aura of confidence. 

We would like to Thank everyone for helping us get to the point where we are now. To all of the custodians for all of their hard work keeping everything sanitary in the midst of a global pandemic and to all the staff member for guiding us throughout our journey here at South Kam.

To our parents for creating, feeding and driving us forward. And a special thank you to the wonderful ladies in the First Nations room for feeding so many of us for so long.

Thank you for listening and with that we would like to welcome and congratulate the Graduating class of 2021 for making to the real world

Mackenzie Bellows

 Westsyde: Mackenzie Bellows

Good morning parents, family members, friends, Westsyde Secondary staff, and the graduating class of 2021. My name is Mackenzie Bellows and I am the valedictorian of the grad class of 2021. I would like to acknowledge that we are on the unceded territory of the Secwepemc Nation, specifically the territory of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc People. I want to thank the people of the territory for allowing us to gather here together to witness the hard work of each and every student of the graduating class of 2021.

I stand here before you, looking back on the legacy that we have all created together over the last five years. I would like to take a moment and thank my fellow classmates for allowing me to have the great honour of representing our graduating class. I never thought I would be the one voted to represent our grad class. I feel very privileged to speak on your behalf, and I hope to serve you all well in this role.

On behalf of the graduating class of 2021, we would like to share our gratitude with all of the people that have supported us over our last 13 years of school. Thank you to our amazing teachers and counsellors for always encouraging us to do our best, to never give up, and most importantly, to look up and climb whenever life puts you between a rock and a hard place. Thank you to our Certified Education Assistants and to our Aboriginal Education Worker for always being there to support us. Thank you to our school custodians who have worked so hard to keep our school safe and clean. I would also like to thank the office staff for their countless efforts to make Westsyde Secondary School a safe and welcoming place for all. To the administration, thank you for supporting us during the tough times. The grad class would like to extend a special thank you to former Vice Principal Mr. Devries, who was our biggest advocate. He was the older brother we never had but always needed to keep us in check. You will never know how much you meant to us.

To our parents, family members, and friends, thank you for being our biggest supporters, our biggest shoulders to lean on, and most importantly, thank you for showing us that regardless of our choices, you’ll always be there. Thank you for never giving up on us and pushing us to do our very best!

It’s crazy to think that our last 5 years at Westsyde Secondary have flown by this quickly. It feels like just yesterday we were entering the gym doors, scared, short, naive children. I remember walking in Jock Hall scared to glance up and provoke the grade 12’s because they were so big, and now we are the grade 12’s. Grade 8 initiation will forever haunt my memories, but now I look back and laugh with fond memories and respect. The amount of memories is endless: dancing our socks off, participating in pep rallies, enjoying a game of football at Friday Night Lights, or simply walking through the raging cafeteria at lunch hours. Remember that time those kids from another school came and set off a smoke bomb in the cafeteria or when someone pulled the fire alarm and we all had to go outside and freeze. We have come so far, and we have matured so much over the years. We can conquer anything we put our minds to. Together let's conquer the world! A special congratulations goes out to all westsyde students. It has taken us 5 years but we are finally allowed to wear hats!

To the graduating class of 2021, we were born during an epidemic (SARS), and now we are graduating during a pandemic (COVID). Covid does not define us as a whole, as you are only as great as you let yourself be. We have overcome many difficulties over the years. Our entire class was labelled as challenging back in grade 8, but now we will take that vibe and use it to take on the world. What was thought to be our weakness was really our greatest strength! There is a quote by Martin Luther King Junior that describes the challenges high school students may have. It talks about how to move forward through all those challenges that we have all thought were impossible to get through.

“If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

Look how far we have all come. Our hard work has finally paid off. We have worked through any problem that has come our way, and we have prevailed. 

Now, we are beginning the next step of our lives as young adults. We may still be afraid or naive about what the future may bring, but now we know we can do anything we put our minds to and do it well. You may look back at the last 5 years and think-- thank goodness it’s over, or wow that was stressful, or I wish our time here wasn’t over. Regardless of the myriad of emotions we may be feeling now, together we pushed through it. We pushed through it all. We made it through the first day of grade 8, we made it to the end of high school. 

Graduates of 2021, all we can do now is move forward. There's going to be bumps along the way, quick turns, and maybe a pothole here and there, but whatever you do, don’t give up. Follow your dreams, never give up, and most importantly, when life throws you a curveball, take it with great appreciation. It is these curveballs that can teach us life’s greatest lessons. We are all about to embark on a new journey. Take advantage of all opportunities, travel, work, and appreciate the little moments life has to offer. Live your life, love who you want to love, be who you want to be, and most of all, live with no regrets. Always remember graduates to be kind, courageous, and thoughtful. Now we have grown into amazing, resilient, adults ready to take on the world.

Grad's life will get hard, it’s bound to happen. There is a quote by Queen Elizabeth II, that reminds us to never give up, when things get tough, keep pushing through. “When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.” Always remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This may not be the graduation we all wanted it to be, but I am grateful to be standing here with you all today despite what that may look like; however, life isn’t always everything we want it to be either. Sometimes, we have to stop and appreciate the accomplishments we have currently completed, and we have now completed high school. Not all of us thought we would be standing here, let alone graduating. This is one accomplishment of many to come. We have completed 13 years of schooling. I know that I personally am proud of everyone in the class for pushing through over the years to get to where they are today. I am proud to say that I am a fellow Westsyde Secondary Graduate and all of you should be too! This is the first of many milestones to come as we embark on this epic journey known as life.

A piece of advice to the future grads, don’t rush it. Before you know it, high school will soon be over, and you will be an adult. Embrace being a kid, get to know as many people as you can, and work to strengthen our Westsyde community.

If high school has taught me anything, it is that no matter what, look for a positive amongst the negative. Finally, never accept defeat. When things get tough don’t give up. Instead, strive for something better. If you do get knocked down, remember this too shall pass.

Lastly, a final message to the grads that are wigging out about not being able to make something of themselves. Have faith in yourself and always remember, “If society can make Penicillin out of moldy bread, it can surely make something out of you.” Congratulations Westsyde graduates of 2021!

Ben Jacoby and Mackenzie Pittenger

 Valleyview: Ben Jacoby and Mackenzie Pittenger

On behalf of the Valleyview Secondary Grad class of 2021, we would like to extend our congratulations to all SD73 graduating students. We would like to thank all administrators, teachers, support staff, coaches, family, and friends who have supported us through this journey. We are excited to see what the future holds for all of us. Stay safe and stay happy!!!

Ben and Kenzie

Emma Lassi

 Barriere: Emma Lassi

Good evening family, friends, teachers, and of course this year's graduating class of 2021. My name is Emma Lassi and I am honoured to be standing here today representing our class as the 2021 Valedictorian.

Over these last five years we have been told many different things countless amounts of times. We’ve heard “show your work”, “why are you packing up, there’s still five minutes left” and “growth mindset” far too many times to count. But something I’m sure we’ve all heard at least once in our high school career is how fast these years will pass us by. All those years ago, when we were little twelve and thirteen year olds just starting high school, graduation seemed like a date so distant in the future. Five years sounds like a long time. And even with all this time, five years managed to pass us by in an instant. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it chunk of our lives. From this moment in time, all we can do is look back on our time here and what we’ve learned.

With that being said, I’d like to share a quote that I believe fits the occasion of our graduation well: The best thing about the past is that it shows you what not to bring into the future. Now, I can’t tell you what not to bring into the future. We’ll leave that as your own personal business, or as Mr. Tommasini might say: I don’t want to hear about things I don’t care about. But I can remind my fellow graduates of the amazing memories and one-of-a-kind experiences we received in these last years at Barriere Secondary School that you might bring into the future with you. Let’s begin all the way back in grade eight. This was the year when we ran all over town for a math scavenger hunt and proved that you can run a functioning PE class with only thirteen students. In grade nine, when we were labelled as the worst grade in the school and subsequently scarred Mr. Lowe for life during our Math class. A fact that he still brings up to this very day. Grade ten, when we had a giant flour fight in Foods class and our eventful debates, sword fights and guest appearances by Mr. Stace in Biology 11. Grade eleven, the year that we will always remember for those last three months when school felt pretty optional. And lastly, grade twelve. When we learned about nuclear energy through interpretive dance in physics and when we debated whether we should just drop out and leave everyday during Pre-Calc 12 in quarter four.

Not to mention the moments and memories shared with the teachers. For example, we’ll remember that with Mrs. Dolha, we had Free-Write Fridays and spent time barricading the door with desks. With Mr. Tommasini we had family time at the start of class and played A LOT of four corner soccer. And with Mrs. Hundt, we were ALWAYS on task and extremely productive.

I remind you of these memories today in hopes that they will not only remind you of the great moments but also what you’ve learned in these last five years. We need to take these lessons into the real world. Maybe we won’t use the Pythagorean theorem everyday or need to know the process of DNA replication but we will know the important life lessons that could only be taught through the unique experience of attending Barriere Secondary. Because as we all know, the most important lessons we learned in school were not taught in a classroom. They were skills built gradually over time, values shaped by our surroundings. This is what we will bring forward into the future.

Makowe Samantha

 Logan Lake: Makowe Samantha

Parents, teachers, staff, and most importantly graduates, welcome to the logan lake secondary graduation of 2021. For those of you who don't know me my name is Samantha Makowe, and I am honoured to be standing up here to congratulate my fellow graduates and thank all the staff, teachers and parents for helping us make this big step in our lives possible.

Thank you to our parents for sticking by our side and supporting us throughout the past 12 years of school, and making sure we had a good understanding of everything, we wouldn’t be able to celebrate this day without you. Thank you to the teachers and staff for always trying to put a smile on our faces and being strict on us to do our work, especially Mr.Howard, even though we know that you only mean the best for us. We all worked hard to get to this day, and all that work did not go to waste.

Graduation is one of the biggest steps and achievements in our lives, it is like our launching point and we are getting projected to wherever our future is meant to take us. We will all take different paths in the future but no matter how far we go from each other we will still remember the odious and pleasing memories we have made together since we were young. We have been through everything together, in school and even outside of it even if some left but came back and new people came in, to me this class is much more than just a group of friends...we are a family.

These people that I have grown up with are some of the most savage people I have met, but also some of the most heart-warming friends you can ask for, and I couldn’t have asked for a better class to graduate with. Together we have pushed through school and made it to where we are now. We have all been waiting for the day that we get to leave this school, but I am sure that our minds will be changed quite a bit after this day.

Graduation is an ending in our lives but it is also a brand new beginning. I hope you all feel proud and accomplished today because this is our day, we have come so far in life and have many more journeys and paths to go through. This day will be memorable for everyone that came along our journeys with us, it has a different meaning to all of us, for the graduates it is an ending of our childhood and to go out into the world and make changes and make it a better place, for our parents and families it is the day that they finally realize how fast time has flown by and for them to be amazed by how much we have grown up, for the teachers it is the most amazing day of their lives because they finally are getting rid of us. Haha I’m just kidding, I am sure the teachers already know this but they are a big part of why we get to graduate today.They have been with us for years and helped us grow and mature our minds, as well as attempting to teach us important subjects for our future lives, for example you never know when a situation comes up where you will need to know how to play hot cross buns on the recorder.

I would like to think about today how the people that are here today have expanded our learning experience and have stuck with us through thick and thin, but also to remember that this graduating class has stuck with ourselves and each other and never let go of what we looked forward to. So let's keep looking forward today and everyday, to find what we love and cherish and to grab onto it and hang on for as long as we can, even if life gets a little bumpy. Let's take this day and add it to our list of our proudest moments because we made it, we should be the happiest we have ever been, we should celebrate and make the most out of today. even though it may be difficult to believe that life has gone so quickly and we have finally made it to this day, it is a step everyone has to take in life, it is the day to say our goodbyes to the people that we have gotten so comfortable with, you get a strange feeling when you are about to leave a place, the place we are so familiar with, the place where we made so many memories with one another. You will not only miss the people you love, but you will miss the person you are now, at this time and this place, because you will never be this way again.but you are excited for the future you that you are swimming towards and look forward to the new you that awaits for you in the distance.

My final wish for the graduating class of 2021 is that you all keep your heads up high, go out into the world and do everything that your heart has always desired, meet new people and make new memories while the old ones still stay with you. We have all achieved so much and are capable of achieving even more, take your achievement and reward yourself from them. Don’t take things for granted and remember to always have a good time while we are still young. Even though our graduation might not be everything that we always wanted, at least we get to spend it with each other and people that care about us a lot. I wish you all the best of luck in your following days, and I hope you all find what you’ve been looking for in life, as well as becoming very successful and doing what you love. And I wish you all the good things that life can offer you, congratulations to the logan lake secondary graduating class of 2021. 

Trevor Shyiak and Alessandro Lizzi

 Sa-Hali: Trevor Shyiak and Alessandro Lizzi

Hello and welcome to the commencement speech for the graduating class of Sa-Hali Secondary 2021. We are honored to be here today even if it is virtual, to reflect upon our previous thirteen years of school and to celebrate our future endeavours.

Can you believe it? Look at you! Each and every one of you survived a pandemic nonetheless each of you survived and thrived throughout high school. I know some of you are too busy posting silly cap and gown photos on your private stories and Instagrams, but I suggest you listen because I have some wise words for you. Don't close up your smartphones, though. I want you to post this speech on TikTok. And hashtag our names on it.

Although we are online, we have learnt so much thanks to the countless unique experiences that Sa-Hali has provided, as well as the teachers who have all had an impact on us. Despite all coming from different schools and backgrounds we are one together today.

Before we get started, we want to take a moment to thank those of you who have helped me get to this podium today, teachers, your passion and dedication has helped us to realize that being first in line isn't a life or death situation. Thank you for understanding that our dogs can eat anything from homework to our gym strip. Totally not a true story. Faculty, thank you for putting up with us from our nose picking days to the devastation we would always leave in the D hall washroom. Through it all, you have been our superstars. So as we take this final walk out of this school, we thank you all for helping us to answer the question of who we are.

We also want to recognize how much of an important role the staff of Sa-Hali Secondary has had on our development. Of course we have our teachers, who have helped us tremendously day in and day out. You have helped shape the next generation of leaders, dreamers and visionaries. In addition to the wonderful teachers, our school would not run nearly as smoothly without the help of all the staff behind the scenes. From our admin, to the office, to the CEA’s, there are countless people working hard to help us reach our goals. In a year of immense pressure from a global pandemic, our custodians stepped up to make sure us as students were always safe as we could be, and without their hard work we would very likely be having to do all our school work online. On behalf of the students, we want to thank you, all of you are truly the unsung heroes of Sa-Hali. And to the parents, adults and siblings who have helped our graduates get to where we are today: your mentorship and tenacity has helped inspire us to never give up. You have and will continue to play an important role as the guide posts we often need, and we will always look up to you, especially when it comes to our hardest decisions. So no pressure.

This year has been a challenging one to say the least. When we sat down to write this speech, we really wanted to avoid talking about everything we missed as a class. It would be way easier to reminisce about the campout bonfire. But when people told me they were sorry that my whole senior year was turned upside down, I shrugged it off and said it's not a big deal. It's a hard thing to talk about, and not talking about it seems less painful. But it is a big deal. We missed senior sports and all the parties. I would even go back for one more school assembly in the gym just to sit in front of the big man, Mr.Comita. This pandemic was not the defining event for our class. Don't let it be.

Our journey has started way before the current global pandemic. It all started back in the fall of 2016, where I remember sitting eagerly to find out if my friends from elementary school would share the same classes. We went from being the equivalent of jaws in a kiddie pool to the tiny little guppies of what seemed like an ocean. Despite this, we adapted. We very quickly learned the ins and outs of Sa-Hali, and to stay on the right side of the hall to avoid being absolutely bodied by some giant grade 12. In grade nine and ten we were able to start expressing ourselves. We were no longer the smallest of the school and we felt like the top dogs, even though we were far from it. We slowly grew into who we are today, and the choices we made would be the building blocks of our character. Eventually we made it here to grade 12, our final year. Despite all the work we put in we still had massive hurdles to overcome including some of the hardest classes we have taken, not to mention the behemoth of the capstone project.

We had monumental events occur every year we were at Sa-Hali. Our teachers supported us when walking into school was harder than it was any other day. We supported each other through the pains of 2 block days, and air conditioning that only works in the wintertime but also shifts in friendships and hard times with family. Sa-Hali has brought us all together to teach us something about ourselves that we didn't know before.

These past five years have been filled with memorable moments no doubt. From sporting events like spike pink in which our senior girls crushed it, to the IFHL where we faced off against the teachers to win, but maybe it was more about revenge for all the homework. Sa-Hali has given us these memories, but the beauty is, these memories are all different. And as a grad class we can unite and reminisce about each of our individual experiences whether you were in the library, on the court or field, on the stage or debating why your country was definitely superior to all the others, shoutout to Koppes and Model UN.

We all deserve to celebrate and be proud of ourselves. It's upsetting that we won't have a traditional graduation ceremony and sadly, we cannot control the circumstances that we face today. What we can do is choose how we respond to it as we take these next steps in life. It can be hard to imagine what life could look like as time progresses. The only certainty we have is that time goes on and the future will arrive. We can use the pandemic as an excuse for why we can't move on in life, or we can use it as a motivator to find our purpose. Whether we plan to go to University, trade school, the military or straight into the workforce, there is no denying that society will gain something worthwhile. The situation we are living through shows how valuable everyone is in society. The world is finally realizing the importance of the jobs of janitors, cashiers, teachers, politicians, first responders and more. Whatever we plan on doing after we graduate, it will impact society. Our hard work through high school is a testament to our perseverance through difficult times.

The one unifying trait of high school for the graduating class of 2021 is that it wasn’t easy. We all went through a roller coaster of emotions and challenges, no one had it smooth sailing. So as much as we learn about academics or athletics or extracurriculars, high school, more than anything, has taught all of us resilience. You are here today because you were able to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Even if you fell, you picked yourself up and pushed forward. And when you fell, and couldn’t get up we had eachother. We had the teachers and the staff to help guide us, we had coaches and parents to motivate us and we had our peers and friends to reach out that hand when we fell, to prop us back up on our feet and be the support we needed. And know that we are strongest when we are together. This is Sabre nation at it’s best.

Life is too short for most of the crap that you will have to face, and telling you that the world is your oyster (or however the cliche saying goes) isn't fair to you. You are smarter than that. You know that life has its ups and downs and all-arounds. Just like in high school, you will have your good days and your bad days. You will feel bored, heartbroken, happy, tired, super-tired, exhausted, the whole rainbow of emotions. The only thing you need to remember is when something in life has you feeling less than the absolutely amazing person you are…

GET OVER IT. Go strive!

To the graduating class of 2021: We made it. We have completed a long journey of highs and lows. It feels in a way that we have just climbed a massive mountain, and we can look down upon the crazy time we had. As hard as that mountain was to climb, it is the first of many. In your future there will always be more mountains and definitely some valleys. And if you ever feel like slowing down or stopping, remember this feeling. Remember how hard you pushed yourself, how determined you are and how amazing it is to stand at the top of this mountain of accomplishment.

Take a moment to look around you and thank those who have helped you along this journey that might not be here with you, although the door for high school has shut for us. I would like to remind everyone that another has opened and we can do with it what we want.

Thank you all for making the past five years a ride of a lifetime, we will be forever appreciative. Congratulations to the graduating class of 2021!

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