For the graduating class at the Weyburn Comprehensive, it was an emotional farewell during their final ceremonies on June 28 as they listened to the principal's message, tributes to the teachers and parents, and responses from both parties.
"Graduation is a huge milestone and we take this moment to reflect on your accomplishments and we look forward to your futures," said Wade Oberg, during the principal's message. "This is a time of enormous change and many of you will be fulfilling yourself with full-time employment or maybe continuing your education."
"No matter what path you have chosen, this is where the adults in your life begin to pull back and let you take charge," said Oberg. "It is our hope that the skills we tried to impress upon you will help you make choices that will allow you to reach your full potential."
Oberg then used a Dr. Seuss quote to encourage the graduates to take some risks in their lives. "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."
"We believe that we have given you the structure to instill the values that we think will carry you forward into a very successful life. The world is challenging, and it is not always easy to choose a path to make it a better place," said Oberg. "The challenge is to use your uniqueness to be a risk-taker and enrich your life and the lives of those around you. Continue to have desires and hopes as this will help you move forward and achieve your dreams."
Elanne Krainyk presented the tribute to the teachers. "A teacher is defined as someone who teaches, or instructs, especially as a profession. I am not saying this definition is wrong, but for me a teacher is so much more because they not only instruct, but they also listen. After listening they communicate and then they encourage."
"From the day we started Kindergarten, our teachers have been the smartest people we knew. The day we saw our teachers at the grocery store and learned that they didn't live at the school was one of the monumental days of our childhood," said Krainyk. "As we ventured into high school, our teachers grew with us. Even stronger they disciplined us and prepared us for our future. In Weyburn we were lucky enough to have teachers who devoted so much time not only to academics, but also to our activities as well."
"Teachers fulfill the role of director, advisor, manager and coach," finished Krainyk.
Colleen Weimer, noted music teacher at the Comp and other schools, gave the response. "As teachers at the high school we are fortunate because we have given our community lots of pride as you complete your final school year. We now send you off into the big, and little bit scary world that is life."
"One of our goals as educators is to encourage new opportunities for you, and help you realize your full potential. As you have matured, you have taken the initiative and have worked things out on your own," said Weimer. "You are so talented and have grown into intelligent, hard-working entrepreneurs. You will have so many opportunities and this is only the beginning of what you can achieve."
Kira Durston presented the tribute to the parents. "Starting on the first day of Kindergarten, our parents have been beside us every step of our journey for all the years of education. Being a parent means different jobs and responsibilities that no person ever should have to commit to."
"Dad, you became our coaches and supporters, helping us improve our game and skills. You became our personal chauffeurs driving us from point A to point B, and kept up to our busy lives. You became our heroes and professors, our mechanics and our handymen, and of course our endless wallet," said Durston. "Mom, you became our nurses and doctors, bandaging skinned knees and mending broken hearts. You became our teachers and educators, our maids and caretakers, and our number one fans attending every game and every activity."
"Parents, you have been our best friends since the day we were born. You have always been there to support us," said Durston. "We might have cried and fussed at times, but in the end we know that mommy and daddy did know better. We appreciate everything you have done for us, and you will always have a spot in our hearts."
In the response from the parents, Sarah Irwin remembered some humorous moments from her own sons and Rotary son to give the graduates some valuable life lessons. "When you were little and I had to tell you to not step on your brother to get out of the playpen, that was a life-long lesson in not stepping on other people to get what you want. You should respect yourself and others. Your family is your strongest support, but I think they meant that literally, not physically."
"There is never a good reason to give your teacher a gotch pull. Life can bring you embarrassing moments, expect it. You have embarrassed us and we have embarrassed you," said Irwin. "When you came home and stated matter-of-factly that your teacher was a swinger I was a bit concerned, until you added that your school had a new swing set. So please ask questions, seek clarification and do not necessary accept what has been stated. When you were little you wanted to be a horse when you grew up. It is great to have dreams and aspirations, but make them realistic and achievable. When they are (achievable) go out and get them."
"Don't punch your brother because he asks you to. In life many people will ask many things of you and elevate those requests, if they do not match your values you don't have to agree to them."
"You should prepare for marriage, not for the wedding. Many of you aspire to live in your lives in a life-long, longing relationship," added Irwin. "Be open to the purposes of learning that happen from unintended life experiences. Life is not without responsibilities. It is a balance, so take care of yourself."
"Be proud and resilient and remain strong. Get a job, get a career and enjoy your career. Pay attention to what you do," said Irwin. Then ended her speech with a Dr. Seuss quote: "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is more youer than you."
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