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The Journey has Only Begun

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Photo Credit: Proctor Photography

You can change your style, you can change your jeans. You can learn to fly and you can chase your dreams. You can laugh and cry but everybody knows. You’ll always find your way back home.
- Hannah Montana

Last Saturday (June 22) dawned as the start of a new journey for 97 Swan Valley Regional Secondary School graduates – 85 who walked across the stage of the school’s gymnasium the prior afternoon to receive their high school diplomas.
The ceremony was full of nostalgia for the past four years while looking ahead to tomorrow with the theme ‘Chase your dreams’.
“I’m so excited that we have finally made it,” said Valedictorian Kendall Bartel. “In some cases, those thirteen years were long and dreadful with many challenges, for others, however, high school was a breeze. For all of us, these challenges and memories have now proven to be very rewarding.
“We walked in on the first day, some of us as nervous as can be, others flaunting their stuff in the hallway.
“All of us have learned that high school was hard but rewarding at the same time,” she continued recapping a little from each of their years spent at the school.
Drawing her speech to a close, Bartel looked forward to the future the grads all anticipate while reflecting on the many achievements her classmates have experienced.
“I’ve seen my fellow classmates push themselves beyond their own expectations and achieve things they never thought was possible both in sports as well as academics. For this, I am so grateful for knowing and growing up with each and every one of you.
“Even though we may not see each other often, the memories we have made with each other will last a lifetime. Everyone in this class has such bright futures ahead of themselves. My advice is that even though you may not know what you want to do in the future, everything will work out; you can overcome anything that comes your way. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve your wildest dreams. Just remember that this may be the last time you see the person sitting next to you, so make today count.”
Bartel’s valedictory address was a fitting completion to an evening that opened with the grand march, as graduates proudly took their seats to the beautiful sounds of the Swan Valley School Band directed by Glenda Turton, who then conducted O Canada.
Michelle Baudin was the master of ceremonies and provided some tips for life beyond high school between the speeches and presentations.
Words of congratulations were shared by SVSD Superintendent Tim Mendel, SVRSS Principal Jacquie Mydynski-Arp and guest speaker SVRSS Educator Ryan Maksymchuk.
The final march was then performed by the SVRSS School Band.
Following the ceremony, graduates continued the celebrations with a banquet held at the Swan River Community Centre followed by Safegrad for one final evening together as friends and classmates.

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Jakki Lumax
REPORTER
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