End of a journey 0
Twenty nine students reflected on their respective journeys with their families, friends and teachers last Saturday afternoon at the Holy Cross Collegiate graduation ceremony.
"This ceremony is a wonderful way for the school and faith community to recognize and celebrate your achievements over the past 13 years of schooling," said Gary Chiste, associate superintendent of Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools.
"Yes, 13, because kindergarten counts. Without kindergarten, you would all be walking around with your shoes untied. and still wiping your noses on your sleeve."
He told those gathered for the ceremony that learning creates a world filled with opportunities, but obstacles as well.
"As you move through life, you'll be constantly challenged to answer the question: are you the one that stands up for what you believe in?" said Chiste.
"I ask that you remember that you will not be alone in facing these challenges."
Harry Salm reminded students, on behalf of Christ the Redeemer School Board, about the part God plays in their lives.
"God has a plan for each and every one of you," he said.
"You will now be seen as part of the leadership of our parish community, our local community, and our world community. And as you now venture out, take these words with you: God is everywhere, and in everyone.
"One of our school division's fundamental beliefs is that the infinite value of each person in God's eyes must be reflected in all that we do."
The valedictorian address was made by Anissa Viveiros, who began with a quote by international icon, Walt Disney.
"'All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.'
"It's not about the destination, but about the journey, because the journey is what influences who we are," said Viveiros.
"Failure in life is inevitable. It is perseverance that enables us to succeed."
Viveiros shared stories about how she and fellow graduates bonded over junior and senior high, mostly due to the small size of the school. Of particular significance was the Grade 12 retreat, which she said drew them all closer together.
"After the grad retreat, the remainder of Grade 12 passed by so quickly it was astounding," she said.
"What lies in the future is a mystery, but if we can retain the knowledge and experience we gained here at HCC, we will achieve our goals."
Principal Lavern Evans was the last to address students before the presentation of diplomas.
"You should be very proud of what you've accomplished," he said. "Always remember, if everything was easy, everyone would do it.
"When you look back at the obstacles and challenges that you have overcome, you'll have a great sense of pride, knowing that the easy thing would have been to give up."
He further encouraged the graduates to pursue their passions, rather than money.
"Your faith will be guiding you for the rest of your life, but never forget that through (God), all good things come."
The graduates were then presented with their high school diplomas while teacher, Michelle Leitner, read out each student's plans for the future as he or she walked across the stage.
"I'd like to now officially present the graduating class of Holy Cross Collegiate 2012," said Lavern.
Twenty nine hats then flew into the air, and huge cheers along with them.