Fifteen grads celebrated in Canso

By Helen Murphy    

CANSO – Valedictorian Deonna King took her fellow graduates on a walk down memory lane during Canso graduation on June 28.

“During our Grade eight year, our class was the last class to have a grade eight graduation. We all walked these gym floors, crying...because we were nervous about going to high school. Four years later, we realized that our Grade 12 graduation would be much harder.”

King described her class as a “competitive” one.

“Probably one of the most competitive classes here. Not only in sports, but in school work, and almost every other aspect possible in our lives.”

But that’s a good thing, she reminded them.

“I think being competitive has helped us become the people we are today -- except for maybe the odd occasion when we got kicked out of the gym for being too competitive!”

The valedictorian also lauded the supportive nature of this class of 2017.

“The one thing that I love about our class is that we have always pushed each other along and never left anyone behind. We’ve always accepted everyone’s strengths and challenges and wanted everyone to feel like an important member of our class.”

King expanded this thought with kind words for each individual graduate.

“My fellow grads, I would like to leave you with a challenge. During the next chapter of our lives, we will meet new people, make new friends, and learn new things. As we grow older, we will become more responsible and independent. My challenge to you is to never forget where you come from: a small town. A small town that has taught us to respect others, be well-mannered, be brave when obstacles are thrown our way and smile at others even if they don’t smile back.

“Never be afraid to tell people where you are from and how you grew up not being afraid of getting dirty, working hard, helping others and swimming in the ocean.”

Guest speaker Nicole Cleary extended congratulations to the graduates’ families.

“Your support and dedication through this entire process made an enormous impact on your children’s lives,” she said. You raised them to be the kind, considerate individuals you see sitting up here today.”

She also spoke of the impact of the graduates had on her during her teaching career in Canso.

“You are not only my students, but I consider all of you my kids. You are a part of who I am and I will never forget the true impact each and every one of you had on shaping who I am as an educator and person I am today.

“Throughout the years the memories I have will never be forgotten, from all those competitive games we played in the gym, to those unique dance routines you created, to you telling me stories of the latest gossip or who is dating who, to our adventurous overnight trip that ended up in a cabin because of a freak thunder and lightening storm. I have watched you grow from young children to the young adults you are today and I couldn’t be more proud of each and every one of you.”