The first pre-primary class in Chedabucto Education Centre are now high school graduates. On Wednesday, June 26, twenty-five Guysborough Academy students received diplomas, awards, words of wisdom and, collectively, a lot of money.
In her opening remarks, Principal Barbara Avery spoke to the graduates about the world of opportunities that lie ahead of them. Reflecting on the legacy of the late Dr. Foley, Principal Avery asked the audience to raise their hands if their lives were impacted by Dr. Foley. With nearly every hand in the air, Avery emphasized the impact that one person can make in the lives of others.
Derek MacDonald was the invited guest speaker, and a face familiar to most of the graduates on stage. MacDonald had taught the now-graduates six years ago. On Wednesday, he addressed that very class (with a few new faces) as they closed a chapter of their lives and opened a new one. He shared that as a young high school teacher, he thought being assigned to a Grade six classroom was a negative – but he now reflects on that year as formative in shaping him as a teacher. MacDonald implored the graduates to strive for their own, personal version of success.
A total of $183,950 was awarded in scholarships, prizes, bursaries and grants. Aidan Halloran graduated first overall and received $24,225, including a $20,000 scholarship to Dalhousie University. Graduating second overall was Haileigh Barss, who received $43,250 including $26,000 from Dalhousie University and a $10,000 Women in Technology Scholarship. Rebecca MacKeen was awarded $37,800, including a $32,000 scholarship to StFX. She was also awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Medal, awarded to a graduating student having demonstrated superior academic achievement in grades 10, 11, 12, and having maintained an outstanding record in school and community involvement.
Tyrell Byard was awarded $16,625, including a $7,000 entrance scholarship from StFX. Makayla Carter received $12,225, including a $12,000 scholarship to StFX.
In her speech, Valedictorian Rebecca MacKeen reflected on the grads’ inside jokes and memorable teachers and looked towards the future. MacKeen quoted The Office TV show character Andy Bernard with a memorable line: I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days, before you actually left them. “Well guys,” MacKeen said addressing her peers, “These are our good old days.”
Guysborough Academy's full awards list will be published in next week's Journal.