Ladies and gentlemen, honoured guests, Graduates of 2018, welcome to a special evening of celebration in recognition of the determination and perseverance of our graduates, resulting in the successful completion of their public schooling.
Graduates, I sat where you’re sitting, exactly 40 years ago (not in Golden, but down the valley in Kimberley). It’s hard to believe those years have gone by already. I recently had a look at my Grade 12 Yearbook so that I could remember what it was like in my final year of high school. With Barry Manilow’s “Look Like We Made It” as our theme song and Frank Sinatra’s “I did it My Way” as our recession march, we felt we were on top of the world and destined for greatness. Actually, we were just trying to get through our Provincial Exams, execute our grad prank, and head to the Cranbrook Drive-in Theatre to watch the premier showing of Grease! Not knowing what I wanted to do, I took a year off and travelled to Australia for six months, then returned to university where I decided to become a teacher.
Look how much I have grown – not in height, of course – but in accomplishments. If I have been able to reach my goals, just think about how far you can go! I graduated in Kimberley and made it all the way to Golden. Just think, you could make it to Calgary! Seriously, though, most of you will at some point probably travel the world and experience so much. The world is a much different place in 2018 with endless opportunities.
This grad class has ambition, skills and abilities, resilience, and the drive to succeed. Graduates, you are the ones who will change our world. With your global connections through the relationships you have already built and will continue building, you have the potential to cross borders and strengthen ties between countries, working towards unifying our world and developing it into a peaceful, productive and safe place to live. You will have so many amazing adventures, but don’t forget to come back and share your experiences.
In your recent years of high school, you learned a lot, but you were probably sitting in class wondering “When am I ever going to use this in real life?” Reflecting on your education to this point and thinking ahead, some of you will take your skills from Foods and Cuisine and open a bakery or restaurant. Some of you will take your numeracy skills and become computer engineers or run your own businesses. Some of you will take your science skills and work in the medical field, your shop skills and work in the trades, your literacy skills and work as journalists or authors. Some of you will take your art skills and your creativity to a new level and work in the field of design. All of you will take your wealth of knowledge and the competencies and passions you have developed over the past 18 years and do things that we cannot even imagine. Graduates, I bet you did not realize how prepared you are for entering the challenges of new careers and prospects for the future.
Moms and dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers and support staff, all of you have had a hand in preparing these young adults for their lives ahead. You should feel proud! Because of all of you, our grade 12 students are about to cross this graduation stage with purpose, dignity and options. Let’s do it!
On behalf of the staff at Golden Secondary and Golden Alternate Schools, we wish our graduates the very best.