It was the perfect evening of memories, celebration and expectation.
The 14 students of the Class of 2018 at Bashaw School held their graduation banquet and ceremony on May 26, which was filled with items based on their theme — Appreciate your past, Own your present and Create your own future.
Made up of Martin Basger, Jeremy Bourdages, Jaycee Dawbin, Kaylin Dennis, Alec Dubitz, Tyler Elder, Justin Fuller, Sydney Hunter, Mickey Jaffray, Quinn Kisling, Yvonne Koenraadt, Curtis Longman, Jayme Mead and McKenna Reelie, this doesn’t have the distinction of being the first graduation group from the new school, however, they are the group to have started school in this century.
It was only fitting that the graduates invited former principal Craig Dimond to be the guest speaker, considering he had been a part of most of the student’s education for 11 years.
Dimond was a teacher, then vice-principal, followed by principal in Bashaw and witnessed the growth of the graduates from day one, prompting this thought by Elder in the introduction, “(He’s) been here since Grade 1 watching us grow and us him, grow old that is.”
Jokes aside, the graduates noted Dimond was a mentor who truly cared and found the balance between professionalism and being a friend.
“For all of the sage advice I gave you over the years — which you totally ignored — I think it’s time for a little pay back, there’s only 12 sheets,” joked Dimond in his response.
“Job well done. Though in looking at their theme, I thought, ‘Wow, entrusting me to the past, thanks,’” he said to howls of laughter. “From bringing Diet Coke to class to bizarre reasons for absences — not just from you, but parents — I mean really, it’s hunting season, I get it.”
He added given the small school it was easy to get to know just what skill sets these graduates have acquired in an ever changing world.
“While all the talk in education is the need to prepare students for this world and the skill set students need, I think we need to look at the strengths they have, many I’m not sure our generation possessed. They were born into a time of change and have the resilience and flexibility to be successful in almost any situation.”
Staying with the past, Battle River School Division trustee Kendall Severson spoke to the graduates.
“Thirty years ago, I was on a stage like you are, and it seems like yesterday. So, enjoy your time and remember your friends,” he said.
“Things are always changing, always learning something new, always failures to overcome and new information and perspectives to consider. School has given you the foundation, if you take nothing else with you into the future — take the ability to keep on learning.”
In her principal’s address, Myranda Shepperd explained the staff couldn’t be more proud of the intelligent and independent graduates, offering her own advice to not let high school be the high point of their lives.
“Don’t sit back and wait for life to happen, actively pursue your happiness, relentlessly seek it out, forge your path, mine for diamonds and those glimmering moments of bliss that happen each and every day. You have left your mark on Bashaw School and now its time to go leave your mark on the world,” she said.
Before the ceremony concluded with the handing out of diplomas and caps, class valedictorian Jaycee Dawbin provided the rest of the grads with some words of praise, thanks to the teachers and parents then leaving them with the five W’s and an H.
“Who you are is what makes you unique and important, don’t change who you are for anyone but yourself. What lies ahead of you is a complete mystery that no one can predict, don’t be afraid of it, charge toward it with confidence and faith. When life…pushes you down, stand up and push back harder because you don’t deserve to be on the ground,” she said.