Thirty-four Grade 8 students nervously, shyly, and also with pride and excitement, walked a red carpet at a Hollywood-themed graduation ceremony held June 24 at Archie Stouffer Elementary School.
“It’s a cliche, but when you get up to Hal High, get involved,” advised school board trustee Gary Brohman to the group. “You can make these four years some of the best years of your life. It only happens if you join a club, a team, a choir, whatever – get involved.”
Brohman praised the Leader in Me model at Archie Stouffer Elementary School that he said had created an important foundation for students. He reminded graduates to be grateful and thankful for what they have, to perform random acts of kindness and to volunteer. He reminded parents the students would need their guidance, and potentially, on occasion, their forgiveness.
Zita Suranyi received the principal’s all-round student award, with ASES principal Jane Austin noting the student’s intelligence, kindness, leadership abilities and that Suranyi supports those around her.
Grade 8 teachers Rachel Manol, Michelle Kernohan, Shannon Blanchard, Natalia Brown and Teressa Bird presented a rhyming Grade 8 teachers’ address to the graduating students, playfully teasing the class while also shedding tears as they leave elementary school for high school.
“Yes, it’s hard sometimes that goodbye to say, but we must send you on your way, we will miss you, yes, it’s true, but know that our love goes along with you,” said Kernohan.
Kernohan noted, “As we always say and has been said for years,” before together the teachers said: “we sure grow them good in Minden.”
Valedictorian Abby Dykstra was chosen for the role by her peers and ASES faculty to represent the class and brought plenty of family with her to support her that night. She acknowledged fellow classmates and staff members, parents and guardians, and also the community that had been involved in volunteering with the class to provide further education and help in shaping who the students had become. She said she hoped the class would stick together as they continued on to high school.
“I have faith in us and our bright futures,” she said.
Scholars awards (75 to 79 per cent): Walker Nesbitt, Owen Newell, Maria O’Malley, Brody Prentice, Maddie Robinson, Matthew Vargass
Honours awards (80 per cent and higher): Ava Allaire, Broden Boisvert, Destiny Brown, Rory Campbell, Georgia Code, Austin Crego, Abby Dykstra, Hannah Gartshore, Colleen Petric, Abby Rosik, Zita Suranyi, Kayla Switzer, Carrie Walker
Horseshoe Lake science and technology award: Broden Boisvert, Kayla Switzer
Toronto Dominion Canada Trust English award: Ava Allaire, Zita Suranyi
Commercial Imperial Bank of Commerce math award: Austin Crego, Ava Allaire
Tim Harrison memorial award for music: Colleen Petric, Zita Suranyi
French award: Abby Dykstra, Colleen Petric
Elementary Teacher’s Federation award for the arts: Carrie Walker, Kayla Switzer
Minden Hills Museum history award: Destiny Brown, Rory Campbell
ASES geography award: Owen Newell, Brody Prentice
Arcadia Masonic Lodge award: Austin Crego
Alan Walker memorial award for citizenship: Hannah Gartshore
Award for academic excellence: Colleen Petric
Character education award: Carrie Walker
Athletic sportsmanship award: Destiny Brown, Austin Crego
Athletic achievement award: Abby Rosik
Principal all-round student award: Zita Suranyi
Class valedictorian: Abby Dykstra