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Cremona 2021 grads a 'truly extraordinary' class

Cremona School graduation ceremony was held in the parking lot of the school on June 26
MVT Cremona 2021 grad
Cremona School Class of 2021 valedictorian Hailey Ekert smiles during the June 26 ceremony. Dan Singleton/MVP Staff

CREMONA - The Cremona School 2021 graduating class is well prepared to move forward thanks to the years of working and learning together in very supportive community, says valedictorian Hailey Ekert.

The graduation ceremony was held in the parking lot of the school on June 26, with many family members, friends, teachers and others sitting on lawn chairs in the sunshine.

“Now it is time to explore our future and take advantage of everything we have learned here, as well as the important values we have instilled in each other,” said Ekert. 

“This class is truly extraordinary. I’m certain we will see each other again with new accomplishments to share, and it will feel like we saw each other yesterday. No matter where we go we will always have a home here with people we can depend on.”

She thanked the teachers, parents and others who helped her fellow graduates over the years.

“The motivation we feel to do our best here is created by the great care and passion we have received from all Cremona School staff from elementary until today,” she said. 

“We also have to give our gratitude to our parents who believed in us before anyone else and are responsible for the promising people we have grown to be.”

The ceremony saw dignitaries congratulate and commend the graduating students. 

Jason Drent is an associate superintendent with Chinook’s Edge School Division (CESD).

“This was a very challenging year,” said Drent. “You strived to meet the challenges that were presented to you. Your determination, resiliency, collaboration, work ethic and a focus on excellence all played a part. Remember all you have endured. This experience will provide very well to you as you move through your futures.”

He commended the work of teachers, school staff, custodial staff and others in helping students throughout the school year.

Andrea Reid is a school council member and parent.

“Remember, you are not standing at the end of the road of your high school career; instead you are standing the end of the diving board” said Reid. “As I look at your bright shining faces, I am feeling hope in the promise of the journeys ahead of you.”

Sonia Temple is a councillor of the Village of Cremona.

“Today marks a milestone for you,” said Temple. “Look to the future as the strong people you have become in the midst of all this uncertainty and know that the certain constants around you will always be there to help.”

Melissa Copley is a CESD trustee.

“The only advice that I can give you is take the time to contemplate what you have done and where you are going and, secondly, be willing to participate,” said Copley. “You will all do amazing things.”

Nathan Cooper is the MLA for Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills, which includes Cremona.

“I am convinced that each and every one of you has the ability to create the future that you want for you,” said Cooper. “Each and every one of you has the opportunity to do great things. I know the future of our province is bright because of you.”

Guest speaker Cory Read, a former teacher at Cremona, said, “Each of you has the capability of making the future you want. It won’t always be easy; the best things in life are seldom easy, but it is there for you.”

Joanna Harvey is the principal of Cremona School.

“We are anticipating the positive contributions you will bring to the world as you continue your lives outside our school walls,” said Harvey. “Find the joy in the journey and remember that your journey has only just begun.”

Craig Lerbekmo delivered a message on behalf of teachers, with students Charles Daum and valedictorian Ekert responding.

Tyson Youngs was the events MC, with student Hannah Rathwell singing O Canada.

Diplomas were presented by Harvey and Darryl Korody.

Dan Singleton

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