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SHS honours 2018 grads

By Monique Massiah, Strathmore Standard

Strathmore High School students Connor Hay, Cassidy Davidson and Nick Slater give the class address during the Strahtmore High School graduation ceremony on May 26.

Strathmore High School students Connor Hay, Cassidy Davidson and Nick Slater give the class address during the Strahtmore High School graduation ceremony on May 26.

Hundreds of young people crossed the stage at Strathmore High School on May 26, accepting their diplomas and moving onto the next phases in their lives after graduation 2018.


The event was lead my master of ceremonies Paul Sonsteby, and followed by the performance of O'Canada by the Strathmore High School band, led by Bryan Allsopp.

Special guest speakers included principal Kyle Larson, superintendent, Bevan Daverne and Siksika Nation Chief Joe Weasel Child.

"High school graduation is not easy," said Daverne."Alberta's high school diploma is ranked one of the highest on earth and there is a reason that so many international students come to study in Alberta and at this school to earn their diploma. It's your ticket to many opportunities in the future," he said. He acknowledged the efforts of parents, guardians and staff at the high school for helping students get to graduation.

"Our whole staff here is passionate about students and works together for the very best for them," he said.

He thanked the guests at the graduations, mostly family and friends of the graduates for supporting the students through their years at Strathmore High School. "I firmly believe that the students we have before us have been shaped and modelled by the direction of the adults in their lives," principal Kyle Larson.

Larson relayed a motivational message from the U.S. Navy Seals to the graduates.

Larson spoke of how the Seal training sorts out people who are meant to lead, and a Navy Seal practise of making your bed every morning. How making your bed sets your behaviours for the remainder of the day, and how a well-made bed is the accomplishment of your first task in the day.

"If you make your bed every morning, you will accomplish your first task of the day," said Larson. "It will give you a small sense of pride," he said. He explained that doing that little task at the beginning of the day will lead to a cascade of other tasks throughout the day.

Chief Joe Weasel Child brought greetings from Siksika Nation, but also recognized the hard work, dedication and achievement of the graduates, three of whom are his grandchildren.

He spoke of the impact of youth on the First Nation and tribal council. Weasel Child spoke of his communications with the current and previous Strathmore town council and Strathmore High School. Weasel Child was invited prior to the Siksika Nation election and afterward to speak to students at Strathmore High School about the electoral process.

He imparted on the graduates a piece of personal advice, "you have been provided with the tools to go forward in life and to make a difference in this world with your God given gifts," he said. He also told the grads to literally take the bull by the horns. "Life is very short, enjoy life, but now you have the tools to go forward in the world as young men and women," he said.

The class address was given by Connor Hay, Nick Slater and Cassidy Davidson.

The valedictorian address was given by Adina Tarcea.

Tarcea began with a description of the authentic 'high school' experience of pop quizzes, and rushed assignments along with a world of social media heroes like Mark Zuckerberg and Albert Einstein.

"These people, they started just like us and they changed the world in their own special ways," she said. "At the end of the day, your path, your life with its tussles and twists is your own and no one else's,"Tarcea said.

"What is to follow is up to each and every one of you to decide," she said. She thanked the teachers at Strathmore High School for acting not only as their educators, but also as mentors over their high school years.

"It really is true that our dreams can come to life, if we have the courage to pursue them," she said. She explained that the students in their last 18 years have experienced their own sort of pain, challenges and loss. "Our lives thus far are everything that comprises who we are and it is not something that should, or could be validated," she said.

She likened the lives of the graduates to that of a full cup of coffee. "When life comes your way and shakes you up, or someone wrongs you by spilling coffee all over you whatever is truly inside you will come out," she said. "When life gets tough, what spills from my cup?" she asked. "Confidence, optimism and understanding, or anger, harsh words and bitterness. It is up to us to fill our cups to whatever we wish to face and the challenges that come along after high school," she said. She encouraged her fellow students to never stop learning and discovering. "Never stop learning about the world, about your friends, but most importantly, never stop learning about yourself," Tarcea said. "It's only the beginning of another journey of discovery," she said.

The class of 2018 recessional was led by bagpiper Gary Thurston to the sounds of 'Road to the Isles.' That evening the Class of 2018 celebrated with personal photos, dance and dessert buffet at the Strathmore Civic Centre.


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