DIDSBURY - The Didsbury High School graduating class of 2021 is well prepared for the challenges ahead, thanks to lessons learned and shared with fellow students and teachers over the years, says valedictorian Breanna Lee.
Sixty-five students took part in the graduation ceremony on June 25, with the activities held in the school gymnasium in front of many family, friends, teachers and others.
During her valedictorian speech, Lee encouraged her fellow graduates to look to the future with hope and confidence.
“While these paths we try might not necessarily be easy, we should not hesitate to try any path that appeals to us,” said Lee. “We should not fear the struggle we may face, because it is OK to fail, it is okay to need a break, and it is okay to need a friend to come with us on our journey.
“I am just as unsure as anyone else, just as scared as any grad is of leaving this routine that school has given us, just as sad about the people we are leaving behind, just as nervous about our future, but also, just as carefully excited to start a new stage of our lives.
“Even though our next stage of life is considered to be one where we are on a straight path towards our goal, we still have time to explore, time to learn what we enjoy and what we don’t, we have time to be confused.”
With guests seated in bleachers in the gym, the ceremony also saw dignitaries provide congratulatory remarks, including Garth Dagg, the principal of Didsbury High School.
“Our struggles in life develop our strengths,” said Dagg. “Without struggles, we never grow, and we never get stronger. Sometimes it is the struggles in life that end up defining who we are. I think the story is quite fitting for your class, and it is why I know you have a bright future.
“You have collectively gone through some pressure and struggles, and I truly believe that will make you a stronger generation. You have gone through some challenges, had some struggles, and have made sacrifices that recent generations did not experience in their school years.
“You’ve done this, not only as a group of friends, a grade, a community, or even a country, but rather universally. Like the butterfly, you’ve endured the struggle and should be ready to use your wings.”
Vice-principal Curtis Dyck brought greetings from Chinook’s Edge School Division (CESD) board of trustees.
“Graduates, each of you, along with your parents and families and teachers, have endured something no other graduating class has, and through it all you stand here today ready to take on the next challenge life will through at you,” said Dyck.
“The board thanks you for your perseverance, dedication and resiliency, and we are confident that the Class of 2021 will be instrumental in leading our town, province and to a full and vibrant recovery.”
Dyck also read a message from CESD division liaison superintendent Karen Barker.
“Your friends have cheered you on and your teachers have guided you, but none have been more proud than your parents. Always remember those who stand beside you,” said Barker.
“You are embarking on a wonderful chapter of your journey. Take your fiends and family along and hang on tight. We are very proud of each of you.”
The graduation ceremony also saw the presentation of achievement awards.
Last year’s Didsbury High School graduation ceremony was held outdoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but inside this year with distancing protocols in place.