On June 7th, 2013, I officially graduated from High School.
As you may know, I was luckily voted to be the Valedictorian of my graduating class of 2013 at WestShore Centre for Learning and Training!
I was and still am so honoured to be able to give that speech. Many people have asked me to film my speech so I got my lovely sister (Brittany) to film it for me! So here it is.
Due to where my sister was; the video turned out very unstable so I did the best that I could to fix it, in addition, she kind of covered the mic’s on my camera at parts so yeah. I don’t know if this was reflected on stage and or was noticeable but I was nervous, shaking a little, feeling like I was going to pass out and feeling like I was going to vomit.
My co-valedictorian and I made some people cry, lots of people laugh and we both received a standing ovation.
Dear Students of the Graduating Class of 2013, congratulations on making it to graduation day!
Before I begin, I’d like to thank all the parents, guardians, siblings, friends, students, staff members, teachers and the graduating class for putting up with me; without the support of our families and friends none of us would have been able to come this far. I would also like to thank the entire faculty at Westshore Centre for Learning and Training for giving each one of us the knowledge and the opportunities to be successful in college, university or whatever we pursue after graduation; we probably can’t thank you all enough for the experience. In addition, I would like to thank Tanya Philips, if it weren’t for you this ceremony won’t be possible! You have organized the staff and this whole event! Thank you so much Tanya!!!
This quote from William Arthur Ward sums up Westshore very well, “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it if you can dream it, you can become it.”
We were always taught that if you do your best and put your mind to it, you could do anything. A professional once told me that I would not have gone past grade five or six in any subject. I was on the verge of going to the pre-employment program at Belmont where I would be doing very modified work and graduate by barely trying. My sister came to Westshore and was very successful and raved about this school. So I decided to go to Westshore and to graduate on the regular program even though it meant that I would have to perhaps struggle. I proved to myself that I can achieve anything by trying and not giving up. A quote that represents my personal experience in my school career was from my middle school teacher, Ms. Kirsten Wiens. She said, “What he lacked in skills, he made up in determination and a willingness to work on the issues”. I think this quote can apply to every student in some shape or form for the rest of our lives and it proves that you can be successful, if you have the determination to strive for your dreams. Ms. Wiens, thank you for never once giving up on me and shaping me into the person I am today!
If it weren’t for Westshore we would have been very different people. We decided to attend Westshore and actually started doing work again, and passing. Overall, we had a great experience.
With Westshore we all have been able to form great friendships with each other that most likely wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t brought together. Attending a small school like Westshore you get to know your teachers on a different level. They care and lead us in our education in a more personal way. All the staff at Westshore gives us students a feeling of self-belonging.
Without the dedication of all the fantastic staff at Westshore none of this would have been possible. To the fantastic ladies in the front office, thank you so much for your help and organization.
Bonnie thank you for taking all the time with each individual graduate to make sure they had all the requirements to graduate.
Daphnie you were our principle for three years, you kept us inline and pushed us to succeed. Plus do you remember last year when we did the TC 10K together and how I was always budging in front of you and how I finished before you?
Jaswall you were one of the strictest teachers that I had in my school career, however, that is what we all needed. You taught all of us how to be successful in business, the foundations of math that gets us through high school and many more great life lessons.
Dawn and Tanya I think it’s awesome how you both look and act a like as well, you both have different teaching styles that help each one of us to further thrive in our school career.
Noel I haven’t known you for too long but you are a very nice guy, you are funny and I love how you always sing to us. By the way, we are all still expecting you to rap for us like you promised.
Dermott we greatly appreciate the effort you put in and you are an all around good guy. Also I greatly appreciate how you are always there to help when we need it and you always unlock the doors on Fridays!
Anita you are so funny and you make art really fun. I am glad I tried that class!
Dave I have really enjoyed chemistry and all the fun labs that we have done! You are a very nice guy and funny!
I would like to give an extreme thanks to --take a few second pause-- Devon. If it weren’t for you I would have never known that I am expressing human right number nineteen “Freedom of Expression” at this very moment. In addition, you taught all of us the value of expressing ourselves and none of us will ever forget the Declaration of Human Rights. You have motivated us to come to school and try and we did succeed as you can see! There are no words to explain our appreciation! I will never forget all the stories that you told us from the zombie stories to the stories about the five senses and even to the story about planet “It It”!
My classmates and I would like to also thank Wendy for all the support and tough love. If it weren’t for you none of us would have been able to cope through the day and if it wasn’t for you we wouldn’t have food and we wouldn’t be able to function in the mornings. You are always willing to help us and give us the right advice to further succeed in school! You have such a warm heart and a bright smile!
Paul Block you came in to our school a few months ago and we are so glad that we had the opportunity to work with you. We couldn’t have asked for a better replacement for Daphnie.
Steven you are such a remarkable person, it was such a pleasure working with you.
Hey Heather you are truly wonderful! Do you remember last year during the TC10K how I finished just seconds before you?!
I am going to miss the lunch break walk to Tim Horton’s with “The Loser Pack” which includes Jalanie, Ashley, Greamn and Mathew (PS Happy Birthday Mathew Pounden)!
We have all made some great memories on field trips and in school. I still remember, when we went to the team building field trip last year and I collided with Mathew and I totally bailed on the ground and injured my ankle and then everyone came over to check on me to make sure I was all good! Also I remember the time we went to the hospital for the PARTY program and in one of the stations I had some mouthwash then took the breathalyser test I failed!
We have also made many fun memories in class like the time when Pickles the rat was in Devon’s room. As well as the time a few weeks ago when we got to hold some little baby ducks! As well as the time when Brandon had to sing “My Little Teapot” on the first day of grade nine. As well as the time when we played “Human BINGO”! I am going to miss all the random and awesome conversations that we all have had. Rena and Sarah you guys always make me laugh, Tapia you always put a smile on my face, Eithan and Tyson you are always making me shake my head. I am also going to miss the conversations between you and me Katelyn.
We have all had a struggle or two in high school but all the amazing staff and our peers have been able to help us through the struggle or struggles. I am so glad that chose to come to Westshore. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of classmates, teachers, EA’s and supporting staff! Thanks for making this an awesome experience! I will never forget this journey!
Congratulations once again to the graduating class of 2013! I am going to leave with a quote by Dr. Seuss which is “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”
Thank you everyone for giving me this opportunity to be valedictorian! I wish you all the best of luck in your future education and whatever career you chose to explore!