A new chapter has started for the Estevan Comprehensive School's (ECS) Class of 2014.
Graduation ceremonies took place June 25 at Affinity Place and at the school. Approximately 190 students received their high school diploma – a reward for years of hard work.
ECS principal Pat Jeannot reminded the graduates that their eduction journey started when they were young. They had to be determined to see things through while facing adversity. Students didn't make the journey alone, either, as they had the love and support of their family.
“You have perhaps dreamed of this day, and as your theme states, 'If you can dream it, you can do it,'” said Jeannot. “Well, you did it. Today you have the right to celebrate that you did it.”
Senior ring Rebecca Blackburn and senior pin Nick Skjonsby offered a tribute to their parents, which garnered a response from their respective mothers. Blackburn and Skjonsby also announced the grads' gift to the school – a $1,000 donation towards a new electronic sign.
Saskatchewan Teachers Federation (STF) president Colin Keess, who taught for many years at ECS, also spoke at the ceremony. He noted that this year's graduates were the final students that he taught before he became the STF president.
Student Representative Council co-presidents Tate Wrubleski and Kale Little paid tribute to the staff, and retiring instructor Tom Flath offered the response.
“These young adults will be going on to vocational training opportunities, college and jobs,” said Flath. “Some will become lawyers, nurses, teachers, architects, welders, electricians and oilfield workers. It's great to have hopes and dreams, and aspirations for success.”
Tugche Pehlivan was this year's valedictorian. She said graduation conjures up many emotions, but she hopes that happiness is the first emotion that comes to mind.
“Today is the day that we are able to openly celebrate our accomplishments, and share them with our family and friends,” said Pehlivan. “Today stands as the symbol of a miraculous milestone that each of us has reached.”
Pehlivan is grateful to her parents for their guidance, and ECS for all they have done.
She'll be studying pre-medicine at the University of Alberta in the fall.
A multimedia presentation showcased highlights from the past year. Then the diplomas were handed out to the graduates, to the delight of their family and friends.
The ceremony wrapped up with a performance by the grad choir.
An hour after the ceremony's conclusion, graduates and their families reconvened at Affinity Place for the grand march. Each graduate received a rose, and they participated in a dance.
The attention then shifted to the school for the chem-free after grad celebration, which saw graduates play mock casino games in an effort to win money for prizes.