Valedictorians 2020

Class of 2020 Grad Videos Are Here 

We wanted to capture ‘Essential Grad 2020’ for posterity for the Class of 2020, since students were unable to share the traditional graduation experience with each other. We knew it was important, to present these ‘crossing the stage’ moments for students and their families to keep and share.  

At the risk of using an overused word, it was truly an unprecedented effort to meet the unprecedented situation. Filming about 1,000 individual commencement ceremonies in more than a dozen locations took more than 30 full days – and numerous evenings. Producing 14 separate school Grad videos has truly been a labour of love for literally hundreds of people across the district. A huge shout out to the video company, the Joy Factory, for their amazing work in capturing it and piecing it all together.  

Celebrating Grad this way has never happened this way before – and the opportunity to meet, one-on-one with its students and families in these settings created many unlooked-for and memorable moments for everyone.  

Valleyview: Sydney Krueger

Sydney Krueger says for the class of 2020, the next few years will be some of the best ‘for making mistakes and creating memories,’ to ‘do anything and be anything you want to be.’ She will attend TRU in the fall and she plans to become a teacher. 

The Valleyview Grad Video is here.

TREC: Kelsey Lentsch and Jaron Sellaras

Kelsey Lentsch spoke about her generation’s situation – being born as the world was grieving 911 and now graduating amid global grief – and her belief they are strong enough to overcome these difficult times.

Valedictorian Jaron Sellaras speech delivered in text.

The TREC Grad Video is here.

Four Directions: Alana Dick

Alana Dick says Four Directions School was a great experience, and she credits teacher Jordan Smith with much of her success. She is proud of her class and 'beyond happy' to be graduating alongside them.

The Four Directions Grad Video is here.

Logan Lake: Samantha Holmstrup

Samantha Holmstrup shares memories, talks about the three most important things she learned in high school, and gives her take on why it's okay to make mistakes as she and her classmates head into the world.

The Logan Lake Grad Video is here.

Westsyde: Kadie Gillies

Kadie Gillies congratulates her fellow grads for being part of a unique grad class and not just because their mascot is the fiercest (The Whunda). She says she will miss the little things, and she hopes everyone will still be friends when they meet again after heading out on all their separate paths.

The Westsyde Grad Video is here.

Kamloops School of the Arts: Sydney Ramage

Sydney Ramage says the Class of 2020 will always share a unique sense of history quite apart from any other graduating class. She shares memories and explains how delivering this speech was made easier because she got to deliver it in 'the time of COVID'.

The Kamloops School of the Arts Grad Video is here.

Aboriginal Education: Grace Payne

Grace Payne speaks about the power of beginnings and endings, the resilience of the Class of 2020, and the need for strong Aboriginal leaders in her generation. 

The Aboriginal Education Grad Video is here.

Aboriginal Education: Satinka Manuel

Satinka Manuel shares a Richard Wagamese quote about ceremonies functioning as one song, bringing healing through common purpose, saying its message is especially relevant. She also offers her class a way to see the next chapter of their lives.

The Aboriginal Education Grad Video is here.

NorKam: Matthew Ciardullo and Lindsay Mierau

Matthew Ciardullo  speaks about turning the less than traditional grad experience into a positive, and that feeling part of a bigger picture can drive some to pursue bigger goals. Lindsay Mierau touches on memories made, and how proud Norkam grads should feel as they move into the world.

The NorKam Grad Video is here.

South Kamloops: Cohen Freeze and Danielle Roche

Cohen Freeze and Danielle Roche express gratitude to school staff and teachers, their parents and fellow students, talk about three things they learned in high school (one of which involves who NOT to take fashion advice from) and point out all the ways South Kam Grads have been exceptional.

The South Kamloops Grad Video is here.


Clearwater: Emma Collins, Luke Lavigne, and Juniper Wadlegger

Juniper Wadlegger, Emma Collins and Luke Lavigne speak about their class, things they didn’t know, and their gratitude to staff, teachers and their parents.

The Clearwater Grad Video is here.

Chase: Nickolai Hedrich and Inez Hegelstad

Inez Hegelstad and Nikolai Hedrich speak about their memories of high school, new skills learned, and the way struggles and hardships helped them discover new strengths. They are grateful bonds and memories will always remain, hoping that “…when we are 80 we can still look back on these friendships and laugh.”

The Chase Grad Video is here.

Sa-Hali: Olamide Olabiyi and Thamindu Widyaratne

Thamindu Widyarante and Olamide Olabiyi speak about their school motto, ‘Together’ – and how it shapes school culture. They share stories about what it was like to attend and then graduate from Sa-Hali – telling funny stories about their experiences. They offer advice, gratitude and inspiration to their fellow grads.

The Sa-Hali Grad Video is here.

Barriere: Desiree Anderson and Aaron VanSickle

Aaron Van Sickle and Desiree Anderson say graduating in a small class of 25 students where many have known each other since Kindergarten has been a great experience. They say the class of 2020 will not be forgotten if everyone finds a way to dig deeper when the going gets tough.

The Barriere Grad Video is here.

International Program: Ted Kim

Ted Kim speaks about the positive value of stress as a fuel for growth, and the need to embrace opportunities for growth as an important part of life.

The International Program Grad Video is here.

International Program: Leila Naito

Leila Naito says her three years in Kamloops as an international student have been the best years of her life. She shares her experiences and offers insight into how she has grown, personally and as a student.

The International Program Grad Video is here.

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