Graduation 2024

Grad 2024
It is time to celebrate the Graduating Class of 2024! 
The Kamloops-Thompson School District invites every graduate, along with their families and friends, to join us for the 2024 commencement ceremonies. We're honouring this year's graduates across 17 graduation ceremonies, starting with Twin Rivers Education Centre on May 27, 2024, and culminating with the final graduation ceremony for Sun Peaks School on June 18, 2024. Explore the entire 糖心Swag commencements schedule below
Congratulations, Graduates!
Meet some of the Kamloops-Thompson School District's Valedictorian's below 鈥 and check back as more will be added soon. 


Twin Rivers Education Centre: Ariel Johnson & Anabelle Livingston
Ariel Johnson Speech

Hello parents, fellow grads, family, friends, and staff. My name is Ariel Johnson. It is truly an honor to be standing here today giving this speech to my fellow graduates, all you lovely parents out there family, friends and staff of people who have really helped me make it to where I am today.

First off I would like to thank all of you for being here today for this wonderful milestone in mine and my fellow graduates lives. I would also like to thank my family and friends for supporting me through my journey, because honestly if I told myself in grade 8 that I was going to be one of two valedictorians when I hit grade 12, I would have laughed. Since at that time I had dropped out of school and just didn鈥檛 care. Now, if it wasn鈥檛 for this lovely school, I don鈥檛 know if I would have ever gone back.

In grade 9, around the middle of the school year, I started here and to say the least I still didn鈥檛 love it, but I gave it a chance and slowly I made great connections with the staff that gave me all the support I needed to succeed in school.

So, I would like to give a special than you to Kiki, one of our school counselors, both Tracy鈥檚, Mr. Hilton, Lisa, Danalynn, and Leslie. They have all been a key part of my ability to succeed and for hat I can鈥檛 thank them enough. I would also like to say to all of my fellow graduates that we did it! So be proud, celebrate and remember you made it!

Lastly, I would like to end this with a quote 鈥測our education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead鈥. By Nora Ephron

Thank you.

Anabelle Livingston Speech

Good Evening,

I realize some people are not fans of listening to speeches and I can鈥檛 say I鈥檓 a fan of giving them, so I鈥檒l make this short. My name is Anabelle Livingston, I came to TREC because online school wasn鈥檛 working for me and going back to my old school was not happening. When TREC came up as an option, it wasn鈥檛 too highly regarded so I honestly wasn鈥檛 expecting anything much better here. But when I came for my orientation and was greeted by Kiki, who鈥檚 cat I used to cuddle when my sister was being tutored by Kiki for math, I knew I was going to be just fine. And so, contrary to TREC鈥檚 questionable reputation, I have spent the last three years having the best experience of my entire school career. This school is designed to help students achieve their goals, whether that goal was University, trades or some other path.

So, even though it may have been our struggles that brought us to this school, it was our strength that brought you here today as the Graduating Class of 2024. I know this moment may be more significant to some of us than it is to others, but you should still be proud of yourself.

High school in general is not an easy task, regardless of everything else life throws at you. But we did it. We passed those tests, read those books, and wrote those essays despite how boring and exhausting, (but very enlightening and educational), they may have been for some of us. All of you have always had the ability to succeed and it was the incredible people who work at TREC that have helped us to realise and utilise that.

It鈥檚 almost humorous how starkly this school contrasts the picture most people have painted in their minds. If you were to actually walk in the front door of the school you would probably find our lovely Ms. Tracy or Danalyn chatting with a student over a warm mug of coffee and a snack or someone doing some sort of arts and crafts activity with Lisa. You may run into a group of kids coming back from a field trip to the movie theatre, bags of popcorn in hand, or coerced in paint from going paintballing. But that is the beauty of TREC. They know that sometimes taking a day to get together as a school and decorate gingerbread houses is more important than getting that novel study finished.

This is something I want you all to remember. Remember how at this school, you were treated with kindness, respect and open ears. So when you leave here, create your own TREC. Find people who don鈥檛 define you by your mistakes, accept you for who you are, and support you in your goals. Surround yourself with these people and focus on what is important to you, not what other people say you should be doing. Because despite what others may have told you, TREC showed you that your mistakes or faults were not the end of the world and that you can succeed if given the right opportunity. I am honoured to be graduating from this school with you all. And I am forever grateful to those at TREC who have helped shape me into the person I am today.

The fact that I鈥檓 even up here talking right now shows how grateful I am to the teachers and staff at this school.

Thank you.


Four-Directions Secondary: Kevin Lavoie-Dick
Kevin Lavoie-Dick Speech

Hi everyone! I hope everyone's had a good day. My name is Kevin Lavoie-Dick and I am from Whispering Pines Clinton Indian band. It is pretty cool being the Valedictorian of the 2024 graduating class and I am glad to be graduating today with some of my closest friends. I would like to give a special thanks to my grandpa and my family for all the support over all these years. Papa is the one to get me to school, he takes the time and effort to teach me, and he encourages me to continue to work hard.

I also want to say thank you to Jordan, Courtney, Laverne & Justin for all the support, for believing in me and keeping me going to school even though it's a long drive. I think it's a small price to pay for a lifetime of memories and I could not be happier to say that I went to Four Directions Secondary School with all my favorite people. I had difficulties with other schools until I found my tribe, so to speak, and I was given the opportunity to flourish.

I think everything that happened over the past four years will be cherished memories. The highs and the lows; it's all just made us become stronger as people and I say, that's fine! 鈥淵ou can't have a little sunshine without a little rain.鈥 I think the best memories were when we went to McQueen Lake, when we went fishing, and when Jaynus fell in the lake. The time we spent at Wells Gray was the best thing to happen to me, just chillin鈥 and enjoying nature. Overall, the field trips were part of a healing journey and I loved hanging with all my boys and classmates for hours around the fire.

The challenges that we overcome are what make us stronger as people and are what make us stronger as one. We can always call upon each other for help or advice, we have balanced work and school, overcome obstacles personally, and made it through all of our courses. Even though we went through all these challenges, we got past them and made it to this point.

Justin's youth program was a thriving experience and I think that I would not be who I am now, or that anyone else would be the same either, if we hadn鈥檛 had those times. Four Directions provided us with so many opportunities for cultural and post-secondary training, keeping us balanced and centered, preparing us for the next stages.

My plans for the future include building my own home and finding a job in my field of interest, construction. To my grad class, I wish for nothing but the best for you all. I hope you have success and find something that you are passionate about and love to do. I know that you will do great things in life.

Thank you.

Continuing Education - Street School

Continuing Education: Michael Steen & Continuing Education (Street School): Steve Maljaars
Michael Steen Speech

Good evening, everyone. Thank you all for coming out to this wonderful ceremony. To be standing here in front of all of these students, the teachers and all of you parents, friends, loved ones, well-wishers, is truly an honor.

When I was asked to speak as a student speaker by Erika Dabner, I immediately said yes... and then a week later I said yes again, either because she didn't see my text or maybe she's getting a little forgetful, or she's just that excited to get rid of me. Either way, I said yes for a multitude of reasons. Above all, and most likely the least narcissistic reason being that I truly believe in programs like this, and I am a textbook example of why they work...I only said it was the least narcissistic, right?

When I was asked, though, immediately a quote came to mind that has stuck with me for years, but never resonated as thoroughly as it currently does. "If you mean it, you will make it".

I have made many attempts in the past to get my high school diploma, my GED, but up until now, it's hard to say I really meant it. I knew years ago it was something I should do. However, I've never been quite certain if it was something I felt I had to do or even wanted to do. I had a place to live, a decent career in mind. I'm not sure if it was not being fulfilled by my career, or finding out my father was sick, or my mother telling me "Just get your goddamn GED" for the umpteenth time, but I finally got off my ass and made a real attempt.

There is a stigma that surrounds high school dropouts or people in programs like Street School. This preconceived notion that we're burnouts, losers, people who won't amount to much. But I'm here to tell you that just isn't true. The only real difference is that we couldn't conform to the traditional education system that let us down and abandoned us when we asked only for something different.

The people standing on this stage today are truly no different than anyone else who graduated on time or even the ones who  graduated early. We just needed a different system, or maybe we just needed some time to figure out what we actually want in life.

The whole team at street school has been nothing short of amazing. I want to however give a special shoutout to my teacher, Erika Dabner. My only regret in this whole experience was not being able to watch her live reaction of being introduced to the deathcore band Lorna Shore because of my English assignment...that's a potential viral video opportunity completely lost now.

This program encouraged a different way of thinking, this program helped me believe that I am not any lesser than someone who graduated on time. I hope that message resonates with everyone here. I hope you all feel so much pride in everything that you have accomplished.

Thank you to my mother, my father, my stepparents, my girlfriend, Amplified Cafe for giving me a place to study and enough caffeine that I could rip a stop sign out of solid concrete. Thank you to everyone at Street School who got me to stand on this stage today, and of course, congratulations to the class of 2024.

Steve Maljaars Speech

Good evening, dear fellow graduates, faculty, family and friends. 

My name is Steve Maljaars. I was born and raised on a dairy farm, in a Christian home with loving and supportive parents. As a young child, the ninth of fourteen in our family, I was taught strong morals and values which my parents exemplified. I had a keen sense of right and wrong, but despite this upbringing, I faced many challenges as I began to navigate my way through life.

These challenges began as soon as I started school. I attended Timothy Christian School from kindergarten to grade 11, and although I excelled academically throughout my time there, I struggled both socially and behaviorally. When I moved into my teenage years, my struggles worsened, and I became defiant and rebellious. To try to cope with anxiety and depression in my mid-teens, I turned to drugs and alcohol. But, as expected, this made matters worse and led me to a darker and darker place. I made many trips to the principal's office and spent a significant amount of time in detention. Eventually, I was kicked out of school in grade 12, and dropped out of school altogether.

From this point through to the age of 43, I battled addiction. As a result of living a constantly rebellious lifestyle, having turned my back on God, I found it impossible to keep it all together. I had many encounters with the law which resulted in several jail sentences.  I recently found myself in jail again, and things seemed pretty hopeless. However, it was there that I finally surrendered to the Lord on August 28, 2023, in my cell at North Fraser Pretrial Center in Coquitlam BC. A few days later I ended up in Vision Quest in Logan Lake where I began to complete my Dogwood. As it turns out, I actually enjoy English and maybe one day, I will write a book.

I would like to thank School District 73 and everyone who has played a part in my continued education: Pete, Jason, TJ, Amy, as well as Mike and Gwenda. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but hopefully this old dog has proven otherwise. Most importantly, I would like to acknowledge my Mom and Dad, who have been the greatest influence in my life. Proverbs 22:6 鈥淭rain up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.鈥

Thank you all for being here and for your ongoing support and I will continue to look to the Lord as I continue my journey 鈥 from 1 Chronicles 16:11 鈥淪eek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually.鈥! 

Aboriginal Graduation

Aboriginal Graduation: Chloe Anderson (Westsyde Secondary) & Danna Campbell (Valleyview Secondary)
Chloe Anderson Speech

Tansi atamiskakiwin (Greetings) to Elders, proud parents, friends, esteemed faculty, distinguished guests, and most importantly the 2024 Indigenous Graduates.

Ki-nanaskomitinawaw (I thank you all) for coming out on this beautiful day to celebrate and show your love for today's graduates. Before I go on I would like to acknowledge that we are on the territory of the Secwepemc Nation, specifically the territory of the Tk鈥檈mlups te Secwepmec people.  

Tansi knee he-yow Skweya Niya, I am a Cree woman, my name is Chloe Anderson I was born and raised on the Treaty 8 Territory and I am a proud member of the Peavine Metis Settlement which is one of the eight Metis settlements located in Alberta. I would also like to take the time to acknowledge the Traditional knowledge keepers and Elders who are still with us today and those who have gone before us as well as the 215 plus children who never made it home from the Kamloops residential school. I am extremely honourd to be standing before you today as one of your 2024 Valedictorians. On behalf of the Indigenous Graduates, we would like to thank the grad planning committee, volunteers, and AEW鈥檚 for their dedication to ensure this extraordinary event was made possible. I would also like to say a special thank you to the people who brought out the best in me and saw my potential : Mr. Domenic Comita, Janet Bernes, Breanne Kerr, Hailey Anderson, as well as my family. I know I give you guys 鈥渟ass鈥 at times but you all have changed my life in positive ways. I will forever appreciate the love and support I received from each and every one of you.

Ki-Nanaskomtin (I thank you).

To my fellow Graduates, no matter where we come from, our stories are meant to be shared. Life's toughest battles and life's greatest accomplishments must be told and passed down from one generation to the next. Our own unique stories of how WE EACH were able to overcome challenges, to be able to attend school and then to be sitting here today, at our Aboriginal Graduation. We must share our stories, to inspire others, so that they too, will have the courage to reach their milestones in life.

I would like to share a story of one of the many sacrifices and one of the many challenges I had to overcome in order to be standing here today.

When I was in grades 9, 10 and 11 my world was shaken up. My mother got sick with an unknown disease that caused her to have unbearable pain throughout her entire body. Often the disease would cause her to have to use a wheelchair.

During the years that I had to take care of my mother, I had to also take care of my sisters. I have two younger sisters, Brier and Jerzy, who I love and adore with my whole being. I had to ensure that my sisters made it to school everyday. I would make their lunches, cook supper, shop for groceries and drive them to their after school activities. I would also make sure that our house was clean and try to keep up with the laundry but with 4 girls in one house that wasn't possible. Eventually school just became the last thing on my mind. I started to fall behind, I was exhausted, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

It was a lot of responsibility for a 14 to 17 year old to carry, on top of the pressures of trying to keep up with school. This was definitely a defining challenge for me but this brought out the strength and resilience I didn't know I had within myself.

In Chronicles 15;7 it says 鈥淏ut you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded鈥.

Another defining moment for me that I want to share with you happened just over a year ago now. If it wasn鈥檛 for my Chapan Yvonne Nancy Cardinal who pushed me to use my voice and taught me to stand my ground this incident would have defeated me. I was being told at my old school by teachers that 鈥測ou people are not capable of succeeding鈥, and that 鈥測ou are not welcome here鈥 and it was these words that were being said to me by the people I was taught I had to respect. I would often cry many tears as these words echoed in my mind.

These words that were spoken to me made me feel weak and unseen. But my chapan Yvonne, who has now passed on, always told me to speak up when something is wrong. It took a lot of courage for me to get back up and not allow them to silence my 鈥渧oice鈥 or suspend my rights to my education . I refused to let those comments drag me down. So I made the last minute decision to pack up my stuff in black garbage bags and move 11 hours away from home to give myself a better education as well as bigger opportunities.

When i arrived in Kamloops I was unsure if I had made the right decision but in hindsight I know that I did because I have met amazing people who have given me the opportunities to succeed and to reach my full potential in school. I also tried out and was selected to play for the KVA Pak club volleyball team here in Kamploops, where I met amazing coaches and teammates. Life can often throw us difficult challenges at home or in school, but always be mindful not to give up when it seems like the only option. It is the courage, love and support we give one another that will give us that drive to succeed and overcome the many different challenges that each of us have faced in the past, and present and will face in the future. Just because one person doubts you doesn't mean you aren't destined for failure You are going to face ups and downs but Never let people's words or actions define who you are as a person.

My fellow Indigenous graduates, As we stand here today we can all proudly say that we achieved a significant milestone in our lives. The past five years of high school have nurtured us, guided us and provided us with the knowledge, wisdom and the foundation to embark on our life鈥檚 journey.  YOU all have the potential to achieve extraordinary and outstanding achievements throughout your lives. No matter how big or small you think they are, because it is what defines YOU. But, let us not forget the struggles and the challenges we, Indigenous People, have faced along the way. Our ancestors had to face many hardships yet they persevered , So now its our turn to do the same. We will shed tears and we will fail, maybe once, probably several times, but failures, like accomplishments, will teach us life lessons. We have all learned the value of hard work, determination and perseverance, and we will continue to strive to be the best version of ourselves. Don鈥檛 ever stop trying, make sacrifices, take risks, keep battling and remember to walk the stage proud and with pride and always remember the children who never got the chance to.

I would like to leave you guys with this quote by Nikita Gill:

鈥淵our ancestors did not survive everything that nearly ended them for you to shrink yourself to make someone else comfortable. This sacrifice is your war cry, be loud, be everything and make them proud.鈥

Ki-nanaskomitinawaw, thank you. Ekosi.

Danna Campbell Speech

Before I start, I would like to acknowledge that we are gathered here today on the traditional unceded territory of the Secwepmec people, specifically the land of the Tk'emlups te Secepmec.

Good evening esteemed guests: Superintendent Dr.Nixon, Chairperson Grieve, Vice Chair Kershaw, Trustee and Aboriginal Education Council Chair Jules, and Chief Council Representatives from the Skeetchestn (skeet-ch-sun), Whispering Pines, Clinton, Simpcw, Adams Lake, Neskonlith, Little Shuswap Lake, and Tk'emlups te Secwepemc Bands. To the parents, guardians, elders, and everyone in between, thank you for being here to witness this great milestone and celebrate each student's journey to get here.

My name is Danna Campbell, my father is Scott Campbell and my grandparents are Shirley and Daniel Campbell. I am honored to stand before you all today as a proud citizen of the M茅tis Nation of British Columbia, with roots tracing back to the Slave Lake region in northern Alberta.

First and foremost, I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to each and every one of you. Graduating from high school is no small feat; it is a testament to years of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Today marks the culmination of countless late nights studying, numerous sacrifices, and various challenges overcome. But here we are, standing on the cusp of a new beginning, ready to take on the world.

If you know me well, you can understand how much I value voice. It is something that is incredibly important to me, yet when I was offered the opportunity to stand before you tonight and give this speech, I hesitated. As M.J handed me the application package, she confidently said that I was going to be valedictorian - with absolutely no doubt on her face. I personally think she severely overestimated my confidence. Nonetheless, I submitted my application; not exactly confident in what I'd say, but I thought I'd give it a go鈥 and here we are!

Since our first year in highschool, we have persevered through numerous challenges, from the daunting nightmare of impending deadlines to the unprecedented hurdles posed by a worldwide pandemic. Each and every one of us has had to navigate our way through what sometimes felt like the end of the world, and yet here we stand, stronger and more resilient than ever before.

As we reflect on our time in high school, it is essential to acknowledge the people who have supported us along the way. Each and every one of us owe a great debt of gratitude to those who have helped us get here. To our families, who have been our unwavering pillars of strength and support, thank you for believing in us even when we doubted ourselves. To our friends, we will forever cherish our moments spent together and memories we've made. To our teachers, who have nurtured our minds and inspired us to reach for the stars, thank you for your guidance, your wisdom, and your patience鈥攅specially when it was stretched thin.

But for me personally, my ultimate inspiration comes from my best friend, the incredible person from whom I received my name and my life鈥檚 blood, Scott Campbell. My dad never gave me any idea that I couldn鈥檛 do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. He filled our house with love, fun, music and especially hockey regardless of the challenges we may have been facing; unflagging in his efforts to provide me with a positive childhood. As he guided me through these imposing 17 years, I don鈥檛 know if he ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was him. Thank you, Dad: you are my guidepost for everything. Your presence in my life is a gift beyond measure.

As I stand up here today, it is my job to provide you with advice; something memorable that can assist in your transition out of highschool and into adulthood. Frankly, I do not by any means think I am qualified nor equipped to do so.

And with that, I don't believe I even need to say anything. You've made it this far. Who's to say you can't make it farther? Whose to dictate what you must do or don't from here on out? It is your life and do with it what you will; although I do encourage positive decisions!

I can anticipate a few eye rolls from the person I choose to quote, but these words have stuck with me nearly every day since she made this speech only two years ago. Introduced to me by my cousin Emma over a decade ago, I am so incredibly grateful for her cathartic lyricism that has grown with me as a person. Taylor Swift will always have a special place in my heart.

There will be times in life when you need to stand up for yourself. Times when the right thing is to back down and apologize. Times when the right thing is to fight, times when the right thing is to turn and run. Times to hold on with all you have and times to let go with grace. Sometimes the right thing to do is to throw out the old schools of thought in the name of progress and reform. Sometimes the right thing to do is to listen to the wisdom of those who have come before us. How will you know what the right choice is in these crucial moments? You won鈥檛.

You're going to mess up, it鈥檚 inevitable. Every single person in this room has and will live a different life but that's the one thing we all have in common. Find comfort in what connects us as individuals and use that to your advantage.

The world that awaits us is vast and unpredictable, filled with both challenges and opportunities. It is up to us to seize those opportunities and pursue our passions with courage and strength.

As we embark on this new chapter of our lives, armed with the knowledge and skills we have acquired, let us dare to dream boldly and work tirelessly to create the future we dream of.

Before I finish, I want to take this opportunity and use my voice to advocate on behalf of the class of 2024 of Gaza. The class of students that no longer exists; students that will not be walking the stage this year and a current estimate of 14,000 children that will never get the opportunity to walk a stage ever again.

Celebration of our achievements without acknowledging the loss of others would be an injustice. I urge each and everyone of you to advocate for human life. I urge every student, teacher and school to divest from companies supporting this mass genocide against Palestine. Let us be the generation that uses our voice for good - for life - in times like these; where every person should have the same opportunity to sit where you are, and walk this stage.

I want to once again congratulate each and every one of you on this incredible achievement. As we say farewell to the familiar halls we see every day and set out into the great unknown, let us carry with us the lessons we have learned, the friendships we have forged, and the memories we have made. Congratulations, graduating class of 2024. The world awaits us, and I have no doubt that we will conquer it together. Thank you.

NorKam Senior Secondary

NorKam Senior Secondary: Myranda MacKenzie & Zach Veninsky
 Myranda MacKenzie and Zach Veninsky

You know, I鈥檝e never understood how imagining the audience naked was supposed to make you less nervous. Honestly I'm just uncomfortable right now. Especially with Mr. Morgan here.

Good evening to all guests, parents, teachers, and faculty. We are honored to be standing before you today representing the graduating class of 2024. On behalf of the graduates I would like to thank everyone for joining us on this very special occasion. After all, we are the last grad class of NorKam senior secondary school.

It's crazy to think that after 13 years we're standing here in our cap and gowns. We dreamed of this exact moment and we made it to the end. Our high school years unfolding before our eyes, endless amounts of memories created since we walked into our first day of kindergarten class. All we ever wanted to do was grow up. We waited anxiously by the classroom door for the bell to ring. We grew up reading picture books together, shared toys at recess, and making musically videos that now come back and embarrass us. Now we are here closing this chapter of our lives and turning the page to a new one.

In grade 8 we turned a two week spring break into TikTok dances, binge watching TV Shows, and attempting to do online school, and let's be real, that was hard work.

The class of 2024 has adapted and overcome challenges, even if the challenge was being on time to that gym class over zoom. After lockdown we came back to what felt like a Barren wasteland but was really just the beginning of grade nine. Wearing masks for two years really was a drag but when we were finally allowed to leave home without masking up it felt like a first breath of fresh air after drowning for an eternity.

We are no longer those wide eyed and clueless grade 10s with no idea how to sign in for WISE block, comprehend why class ends at 3:02 or have to find those three insufferable flights of stairs to get to our math classes.

During our time at NorKam we have created everlasting friendships and had great encounters with each other and shared everything from bad haircuts to water. cooler gossip. As most teenagers do we have enjoyed whispering about who's dating who, restlessly waiting to find out if our best friend passed their driving tests with less demerits than you and making plans for the weekend.

How can we forget the countless driving lessons with Mr. Bubela and the disco Fridays that brought happiness to the hard sciences classes. And what about all the essays that chat gpt wrote for us to get us that A+ in our English classes. (Well That was until someone got caught and left us having to handwrite our essays).

We will never forget all the teacher vs student games and as we don't want to admit the teachers kicked our butts and paid us back with flying elbows and slide tackles for all the times we complained about tests and begged to watch a movie instead of taking five pages of notes in math class. And to all the students who cut their mufflers off in auto class we hear you.

NorKam has produced multiple championship sports teams over the past three years and we are all very proud of the student athletes and we would like to acknowledge the success and hard work that you have all put into the NorKam athletics. NorKam has many other accomplishments such as winning the ethics bowl and medals at the national level for trades. We have A lot to be proud of.

To any of you scared of what is next to come, don't let these three years in high school define who you are. Let these high school experiences be a foundation of your future. We must have faith in the future, faith to pursue our dreams and goals with passion. Like Walt Disney once said all our dreams will come true if we have the courage to follow them.

Now, for the big stuff, what comes next? Well, the beauty of life is that no one knows, not me, not you, not anyone. As we move on to the next phase of our lives, some of us plan to further our studies, and some of us are entering the world of work. Let's keep in mind that failure is only a stepping stone on the road to success and the greatest lessons frequently lie outside of our comfort zones. Whatever we do, we must remember the invaluable lessons we have learned here. I am excited to see where the future takes all of us and the impact this grad class will have on the world.

We stepped into NorKam with dreams and aspirations. Today we are leaving with bigger ambitions. So now that we are done with high school it's time to look ahead into the future. We will look back on our high school years and talk about our accomplishments and all the hilarious things we have done. High school wasn't meant to last forever. Instead of saying goodbye I would like to say hello to new adventures, beginnings and future. As we take this jump let's not forget what shaped us to be the bright individuals we have become. Do the things you've always longed for, meet new people, do everything you can to live life wholeheartedly.

One thing we could all agree on is that we did not get to our graduation day by ourselves. We have all had the help from countless other people. I would like to thank all the parents and caregivers that guided us along the way.

Thank you to all the teachers who supported us through good and bad. It is these people who we need to express our gratitude to. They've been here for all of us and helped us grow as individuals.

As we stand here today ready to embark this next chapter of our lives, let us take the lessons we've learned throughout high school, use this ambition to your advantage.

Slow down and enjoy each and every moment because it will all be over before you know it. But as we walk across this stage we have a common wish to succeed and get a mansion, a jacuzzi and a theater to watch our movies.

Valleyview Secondary

Valleyview Secondary: Gannon Gibbons & Melody Chang
Gannon Gibbons and Melody Chang Speech

Melody: Ladies and Gentlemen, esteemed faculty, proud parents, and most importantly, the graduating class of 2024. Today, we stand as your valedictorians at the threshold of a signi铿乧ant milestone in our lives. As we gather to celebrate our graduation, we re铿俥ct on the journey that has brought us here and look forward to the future that lies ahead. It is a day of joy, pride, and gratitude鈥攁 day to acknowledge our achievements and the support of those who have been with us every step of the way. Before we get ahead of ourselves we would like to mention that Valleyview Secondary School and the ground we are currently holding our ceremony on is located in Tk鈥檈ml煤ps te Secw茅pemc territory. Which is situated in the unceded ancestral lands of the Secw茅pemc Nation.

Gannon: Before we get started, I would like to give a giant shout out to the incredible parents and staff who helped organize the events of our graduation.

Everybody give it up for them!

Gannon: Today marks the day we sadly leave this place behind, it is scary no doubt but remember we鈥檙e all in this together. While we go our separate ways, we will forever carry the memories this institution contained. Starting from clueless kids to now clueless adults. This journey has not been easy, but it has been incredibly rewarding. We have faced challenges, overcome obstacles, and learned valuable lessons that we can look back upon.

Melody: To our families, your unwavering support has been our rock. Your encouragement and belief in our abilities have given us the strength to push through even the toughest times. Throughout the years you are the ones who cleaned up after us, aided our hobbies, and stayed up late to help us 铿乬ure out that one math problem you swore you once knew how to do. Today, as we celebrate our achievements, we share this moment with you, knowing that we would not be here without your love and support.

Gannon: I would like to take a moment to thank our teachers.

Melody: After our years at Valleyview Secondary, none of us can deny that we have collectively grown as people, built lasting connections, and learned at least something. Slowly but surely our student body has built camaraderie and simultaneously come into their own. We all have each found our own areas of interest and excelled, whether that be the arts, sports, or academics.

Gannon: Time has moved forward in surging, fast motion, we came to bypass the little joys, but today let's reminisce. Take time to remember the days when neither you or your friends had vehicles. The rush to run back to the school from your favorite fast food chain to make it just in time for the second bell. Something I think we鈥檝e learned from experience is that, once you hear the clicking of heels coming around the corner you had to book it or risk getting a stern talking to. Courtesy of our vice principals. Alternatively, the cafeteria was an option but you would pay the price in the wallet and the washroom.

With the renovation upgrades our school has received, we seem to forget the fast-paced stampede that would rush at us from the instant that dreaded bell rang. If you were a poor soul who happened to have dropped their phone while in that chaotic hallway, you would know.

Melody: As we move forward into the next phase of our lives, we are faced with a world that is constantly changing. The challenges we will encounter are different from those we faced during our time in school, but the skills and knowledge we have gained will serve us well. We have learned to think critically, to adapt, and to innovate. These qualities will be invaluable as we navigate the complexities of the future.

Gannon: Graduation is not just about the culmination of our academic journey; it is also about the beginning of a new adventure. It is a time to dream big, to set new goals, and to pursue our passions with determination and courage. As we step into the world, let us remember that success is not just measured by the accolades we receive or the titles we earn, but by the impact we have on the lives of others and the contributions we make to our communities.

Melody: Although this is the moment we have been yearning for since we stepped foot in the school, we mustn't forget that the experiences we have, the relationships we built, and the memories we created, wouldn't have been possible without Valleyview Secondary. As we pursue our dreams, let us not forget to enjoy the present moment, to appreciate the beauty around us, and to cherish the people who make our lives meaningful.

Gannon: Today, we celebrate our achievements, but we also look forward to the future with hope and excitement. We are the architects of our destiny, and the possibilities are limitless. You could become a doctor, a lawyer or if you want, a yoga instructor, whatever 铿俹ats your boat. As we leave this place and embark on new adventures, let us carry with us the lessons we have learned, the friendships we have made, and the spirit of resilience and determination that has brought us this far.

Melody: While excitement, joy, and nervousness 铿乴ls the capacity of this room, I think we all feel that something is missing; more so, someone. As most of you may know, on May 25th we lost a cherished classmate, Jakob Gottfriedson. Although not all of us were close friends with him, I believe we can all say that his radiant smile and easy-going personality brought laughter and comfort into any room. Anyone could see the sheer determination and drive he contained, this can be clearly seen by his many achievements in his passion, hockey. Even now the reality of this situation ceases to feel real. This has made us realize the importance of cherishing the time you have with the people around you, as you never know when that time runs out. Through the tragedy and the grief that followed, we as his fellow peers have the duty to keep him in our hearts and give our support to the family that he sadly left. So as we receive our diplomas today, let us walk with melancholic joy as we have had the grace to be in the presence of Jakob.

Gannon: In closing, I would like to share a quote from Confucius: "It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you don鈥檛 stop." As graduates, we have the potential to achieve great things. Let us go forth with con铿乨ence, knowing that we have the strength, the knowledge, and the determination to make our dreams a reality.

Melody: I would like to say congratulations to the graduating class of 2024. May your future be bright, your journey be ful铿乴ling, and your impact be profound, and for the last time, Melody Chang and Gannon Gibbons out!

Sa-Hali Secondary

Sa-Hali Secondary: Jazmyn Carey & Binara Widyaratne
Jazmyn Carey and Binara Widyaratne Speech
Ladies and gentlemen, faculty, parents, and most importantly (no offense), the remarkable graduating class of 2024, good evening.

Today, we are bordering on a new chapter, filled with excitement and anticipation. Our journey to this moment has been marked by challenges, growth, and countless memories. We have faced obstacles, celebrated victories, and supported one another through it all, making connections that will last a lifetime. This journey has not only shaped us individually but has also bonded us together as a whole. We are here today because we believed in ourselves and each other, and now is our time to sit back and celebrate all that has gone into the last five years.

As we reflect on our shared experiences, we are deeply inspired by the beautiful mural created by our senior art students. The mural, depicting the life of a turtle in its serene ocean habitat, perfectly captures the essence of our journey through high school.

Let's cast our minds back to the beginning of this journey, much like the start of a turtle's life cycle. Picture a nest of turtle eggs, buried safely in the warm sand, waiting to hatch. This is where it all begins. As the tiny hatchlings break free from their shells, they are thrust into a vast, unfamiliar world. They must quickly adapt, find their bearings, and begin their journey toward the ocean, filled with both excitement and uncertainty.

I鈥檓 sure we all remember what we were like back in grade 8, as much as we like to convince ourselves we were way less annoying than the new ones. Walking through the halls of Sa-Hali for the first time we were taken aback by the shock of going from the biggest kids in our elementary school to the youngest in high school. Everybody else seemed to navigate the halls so effortlessly while we were almost late to classes in the middle of the day from being lost. Also, a lot of us had no friends in our first semester because all the people we knew from our old schools were put in different classes. At that moment it probably felt like our lives were over. Little did we know that would be the easy part. It definitely was not an easy transition, and square dancing with girls might have been the scariest thing I鈥檝e ever done, but eventually we were able to figure things out. All the while, we reached out and found new friends, with the deepest bonds of our lives being made at those science class sinks. We branched out quickly, having silly little crushes on each other and trying out for sports teams. However some of us weren't so lucky and got rejected from both. (pause). After finally getting in the groove the world shut down and we were introduced to a new way of learning. We commend the teachers for trying their best to give us something to keep us occupied in quarantine with creative online projects, and honestly rolling out of bed at 8:25 and falling asleep again during classes was pretty good practice for grade 12. Our first year in high school was truly a time of change and growth.

The connection between this year鈥檚 mural and our grad class started early on. The developing stage of the turtle鈥檚 life mirrors our own experiences as we transitioned into high school. As eighth graders, we were like those eggs, nestled in the comfort of our familiar surroundings, nurtured by our teachers and families. Then, the moment came when we hatched into the bustling world of high school, stepping into Grade 9. It was a new, fresh environment, filled with new faces, new challenges, and new opportunities. We began to form bonds and build the skills that would support us throughout our high school years. Just as the hatchlings are guided by the moonlight to the sea, we were guided by the encouragement of our teachers, and the support of our families and our friends.

As we moved into Grade 10, we entered what I like to call our growth stage. Like juvenile turtles growing stronger and more adept at navigating their environment, we began to find our footing in high school. We became more confident, more capable, and more attuned to the world around us.

After grade 8 and 9 were hindered by the after-effects of covid we were finally able to come back to normal, not 鈥渘ew normal鈥 school. I hope to never hear the term unprecedented times again. Though it took a while to remember how things once were, the sense of community in our school motivated us to get back to work. For the first time since grade 8, Sa-Hali was able to find a sense of identity, with a new emphasis on togetherness. Accepting everybody and celebrating our different passions reached the forefront of our school鈥檚 priorities. This was especially shown in the elective classes, which made up for lost time in spectacular fashion. The textile and food classes filled the halls with handmade pieces and the smell of delicious food. The art students made some incredibly interesting displays through their big idea project, and the drama faculty brought back theater fest, where students were able to get out of classes to show support to budding actors. Lastly, our school鈥檚 sports teams had some incredible runs. The gym and field came to life in the midst of incredible seasons from fans going wild in wins and showing support in losses. To the athletes of Sa-Hali, whether you played a starting position or left bench, we applaud your commitment and efforts. Experiencing everything from languages to shop classes to sciences, we were able to gather some idea of who we wanted to be. There were plenty of challenges along the way, but by leaning on each other we were able to learn and grow.

Think back to those long nights spent studying for exams, the group projects that tested our patience and collaboration, and the countless hours of practice, whether it was for a school play, a debate competition, or a sports game. Each of these experiences pushed us beyond our comfort zones, teaching us resilience, perseverance, and the value of hard work.

And now, here we are in Grade 12, the final stage of our high school journey, our maturity stage. Like adult turtles who have navigated the challenges of their youth and now thrive in the vast ocean, we have grown into capable, resilient individuals ready to embark on the next chapter of our lives.

It was not the smoothest transition though. The endless possibilities coming towards us really set in, and I think we can all agree that grad came at us a lot faster than we expected. The amount of change we faced was nothing we鈥檝e ever seen before. A lot of us got our licenses and started driving, some more safe than others. This and the ability to sign out whenever we needed meant we had to learn to manage our time well and face the consequences when we failed to. Classes ramped up in difficulty and all nighters studying started to become a must when we often had two major tests in the same day. For those of us who chose to pursue further studies, university websites were so much harder than they needed to be, and filling out applications for programs and scholarships felt like a full time job. There were times where many of us felt that maybe we wouldn鈥檛 be able to see the stage today, but it was in this struggle that the bonds between us deepened. The social divisions that existed before seemed to disappear as we all realized we had a common goal, and soon enough we were all supporting each other regardless of how well we knew a person, if at all. We really felt like the class of 2024 for the first time instead of a bunch of random people, and with this we were able to become the role models that we relied on in our younger years. Through TAing for younger classes, participating in spirit events and just being kind to the other grades as they found their way, I am confident that we were able to pave the way for a positive Sabre culture to flourish and grow for years to come.

This year has been a whirlwind of emotions and milestones. From senior projects and college applications to the excitement of prom and the anticipation of graduation, we have experienced a range of emotions that have shaped us into who we are today.

And of course, they say it takes a village to raise a child, and we鈥檇 be remiss not to mention the people that we owe this moment to.

Thank you to the teachers who believed in us and kept us in school at times we did not want to be here, all while seeing potential in us that we did not yet see in ourselves.

Thank you to the admin and counselors who did work behind the scenes to keep the school running and helped us out when we needed to change our schedules after we realized pre-calculus might not have been the way to go.

Most of all, we couldn鈥檛 have done it without our families.

Thank you to the parents and guardians for supporting us as we discovered ourselves through high school. Your support was crucial to us finding out who we were and what we wanted to do next.

We will never forget the early morning practices we got rides to, the late night help with a project that was due the next day, and especially the fact you didn鈥檛 judge us for wearing plaid pajamas and crocs to school.

To the older siblings, who showed us the tricks of navigating high school, and more often than not demonstrated what not to do. We found out a lot about your teen years from how teachers reacted to us being related to you. To the younger siblings, who inspired us to be role models even though your annoyance drove us crazy at times, and we will never admit that we aren鈥檛 always letting you win at things. And to those of you that are the younger siblings, you should thank us for softening our parents up.

Let us remember that, like the turtles in the mural, we are part of a larger, interconnected community. Our journey does not end here; it is just beginning. We will face new challenges and opportunities, but we are equipped with the strength, knowledge, and support system to navigate whatever comes our way.

William Shakespeare once said 鈥淲e know what we are, but know not what we may be.鈥 These words describe this exact moment right now. We stand here on this very day, the class of 2024, after many years of preparation and growth for this occasion, for the moment that symbolizes the beginning of the rest of our lives. Now we see why we had to endure all of the tears, and anger, and laughter, and smiles, and cries. As of right now we are positioned at the edge of immeasurable potential, where the shore meets the huge ocean filled with endless opportunity, about to make the leap of faith out of fear. Yes that may sound crazy but that fear is the one thing that will push us all forward. We may not all have our paths fully planned out, and even if you think you do, this can change quite a bit. What I can say however, is that through all the struggles, setbacks, and rejections you may experience in the next few years, you can remember the people sitting next to you truly cared about you, and I hope with all my heart that knowing that can help you push through towards greatness.

Today and every day after.

Logan Lake Secondary

Logan Lake Secondary: Annabelle Bona
 Annabelle Bona Speech

Good evening to my fellow graduates, their amazing families, faculty and welcomed guests. I just want to start off by saying how grateful and honored I am to be Valedictorian, but it just didn't feel right to do it on my own so I invited my dearest friend Landon Taylor to be up here with me. As I look at you, I鈥檓 filled with nostalgia, happiness and love. Words can not express how proud I am of each and every one of you, you are the most perfect people and I鈥檓 so happy to be graduating with all of you. Everything we have worked for together has come to this moment, where we can celebrate our accomplishments.

To the teachers who helped us all get here, thank you. Thank you for waking up early to teach us kids everything we have come to know, even on days where teaching us seemed impossible. We will be forever grateful for the knowledge you have given us, for the relationships you helped us build and moving us forward to a promising future. Without you, neither of us would have this opportunity to be on stage here tonight.

Through our time here, we have not only gained knowledge but also cultivated resilience, perseverance, and a sense of community. The challenges we faced have only made us stronger, and the friendships we鈥檝e formed will endure beyond these walls. To the students, I鈥檓 forever grateful to you. You showed me who I want to be and what I want when I make friends. From putting scissors in active electrical outlets, to trying to make a theory of money not being real, I鈥檝e made the best memories with all of you and I don't want to say goodbye yet. I wish I could repeat high school all over again just so I can have more time to redo everything and have you guys stay with me just a little bit longer.

It鈥檚 amazing to see how far everyone has come and I鈥檓 excited to see how much further we'll go. I'm hopeful and sure that each and everyone of you will do something great with your lives. There's no limit to anything we can do and I believe the class of 2024 is set for amazing things. No matter what your future is, we will all remember this class is full of immaculate people with even better memories to go with it. As we step into the future, let us carry with us the lessons we鈥檝e learned and the values we hold dear. Let us embrace change with courage and optimism, knowing that we are equipped to make a positive impact on the world.

Whether I鈥檝e been in school with you for 12 years, or just 2 years, I've learned that each and everyone one of you is your own, amazing person with an undoubtedly bright future. To my fellow graduates, I urge you to pursue your passions, chase your dreams and never lose sight of the potential within you.

I'm so very proud of all of you and I want to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who has been a part of this journey. Let us celebrate this momentous occasion with joy and pride, knowing that the best is yet to come. Congratulations.

So here's to the class of 2024.

South Kamloops Secondary

South Kamloops Secondary: Brandon Johnson & Kali McDermott
Brandon Johnson and Kali McDermott Speech

At our grade 8 orientation, Mr. Kirschner warmly welcomed us with the phrase, 鈥淲elcome Class of 2024!鈥. That year sounded so strange. Almost as if the number was made up, because it felt so far away. But now, here we are in that moment. It feels as though just yesterday I was finding my way through the wide and confusing hallways as a clueless grade 8 student. Since September 4th 2019, every day has marked a milestone in our journey through high school. Every decision we鈥檝e made, although maybe not always the right one, has led us to this moment, the ultimate culmination of our efforts, celebrated by our peers and loved ones.

Good evening staff, families, friends, and most importantly fellow graduates. I鈥檓 Kali McDermott, and I鈥檓 Brandon Johnson, and we stand before you today with great honor, as your 2024 valedictorians. We first want to thank the graduating class for granting us the opportunity to play a role in such a memorable occasion. Today marks the end of a chapter in all of our lives, and is a moment to celebrate.

The South Kamloops Class of 2024 has made a difference in our school and community like none other. We have improved the cultures in many different aspects, and have guided each other into becoming the leaders that we are today. Starting early on, we were an involved cohort of kids who were wholeheartedly committed to a variety of athletics, clubs, groups and activities. This is only where the excellence began. No one could expect that a class full of Brawl Stars addicts (side eye) and kids who willingly wore swimming goggles to school would be one of the most talented and influential groups to ever step foot into South Kam. The expectations of the students in our grade quickly became nothing short of greatness. Even though the physical environment could be confused with an ancient history museum, and has a jank gym with no AC, we were quick to call it home. For the past five years we have been a diligent team, helping each other be the best versions of ourselves. It isn鈥檛 everyday that a group of kids with such varied skills and abundant talent all happen to be a part of one school's grad class.

As many of us know all too well, the growing process comes hand in hand with failure. It鈥檚 impossible to successfully grow as an individual without making mistakes. Instead of putting your head down, this is something to appreciate,,, because it means that you will never stop learning. From not making a team you tried out for, not getting the scholarship you applied for, to maybe even getting a 39% on your logs test.. Who would do that?... Every failure that you have experienced has built you into the person that you are today.

As we move past this stage of our lives and onto future opportunities, the community created by the class of 2024 will stand behind us as a pillar of motivation and support. Through the values we have instilled within each other over our time together, your work and dedication will pay off in tremendous fashion. With your next steps in life, building a path for yourself filled with the things that you love will be how you leave your authentic stamp on the world.

As a class we owe a lot to the people that surround us.

Firstly, thank you to the families. Whether it was late nights filled with tear drop covered math books, being our personal chauffeurs, or simply the unconditional love you have offered since day one, your care and efforts are appreciated by everyone sitting before us.

Thank you staff. The supportive environment that you have worked hard to create has had a lasting effect on our class. Your true care for our well being, learning and growth has had a significant impact that we will carry into every part of our futures.

We want to give a special thank you to someone who has been with our class every step of the way. Mr. Kirschner, you care for our school like no other, and this is clear through your actions. The connections you make with students and the time you dedicate to our community is unbelievable. We thank you for your time here, and we know that you will continue to positively affect the next group of kids that are lucky enough to have you.

Not only is Mr. Kirschner moving on from South Kam, but a couple others have finally had enough of it here.

Coach K, you have influenced the experiences of many young students, and with your jokes and memorable nicknames have made school somewhere enjoyable for so many. Your ability to connect with anyone is a beautiful skill, alongside your influence in the basketball community in Kamloops. Have so much fun with your retirement, and I hope 2024 continues to be your year.

Mr. Annicchiarico, from the lively Japanese lessons heard throughout the halls all of the way to the in depth breakdowns of the law, your enthusiasm has inspired many. You will leave south kam a legend, as the undisputed goat of badminton. Your kindness and intellect will truly be missed.

Thank you fellow grads. I know that for myself, there is absolutely no chance that I would be the person I am today or capable of what I can do, without the encouragement, support and love that I have received from my peers. The impact that you all have in each other's stories is complex and much more powerful than you can likely imagine now.

Finally, the biggest thank you that you owe, is to none other than yourself. You studied through the late nights, you persevered through a sea of diverse challenges, you survived gym class sex ed, you made it through,,, sorry,,,, a rather painful performance of Peaches, you pushed yourself to the absolute maximum to be here today. You didn鈥檛 let anyone define who you are and what you do. You did it.

Every decision that you have made up until this very second has played a role in who you have become. Since September 4th 2019, every day has marked a milestone in your journey through high school, and that is beautiful within itself. While it may have been hard to realize in the moment, that test grade, that game, or that performance doesn鈥檛 define you. You are defined by your character, by how you treat others and the risks that you take. The risks that you鈥檝e taken have been the necessary leaps out of your comfort zones to have brought you here with us in this moment as yourself. In a few weeks, we won't be defined by being Frenchies or English kids anymore. The only person in this entire room that has control over what defines you is you. You are what you chose to be, and we have all the faith in the world that you will all continue to grow into the incredible humans that you already are.

As you leave here today and for the life that follows, I want you to ask yourself, 

Who am I going to be?

Thank you. 

Westsyde Secondary

Westsyde Secondary: Haley Hildebrand
 Haley Hildebrand Speech

Good afternoon graduates, family members, and staff, my name is Haley Hildebrand and I am honored to be standing here today as Westsyde Secondary鈥檚 Valedictorian of 2024. For those who may not know, I am the best, and only girl in grade 12 to play on the Ultimate Frisbee team here at Westsyde. I don't enjoy standing out very much, and I鈥檓 ready to get turned up for this speech.

Thank you all for attending this special day dedicated to recognizing Westsydes grads. A huge thank you goes out to the volunteers of the grad committee that have been organizing this years grad events. Oh boy oh boy I sure am excited. I would also like to take this opportunity to recognize my parents. Thank you for everything Mom and Dad. Don鈥檛 cry鈥

Someone once said that, "Graduating high school is like painting a water canal in the city of Venice." What does that even mean鈥 well. You have never painted before, and you wonder if you鈥檒l like it. Painting requires a lot of time, effort, and can become a very tiring, repetitive process. Giving up is on your mind often as you fill up your canvas. Yet you know once you finish this painting you鈥檒l have a strong sense of freedom that allows you to push through. During this journey, you make mistakes that allow you to learn and grow. Others give you tools that change the way you paint. Once you finish your painting, you realize you gathered many skills along the way that will help you create new projects that will be even better than the last.

Graduating hasn鈥檛 been simple, we鈥檝e all had our own ways of getting to where we are today. Some of us faced the horrid 2 classes a day during grade 9. Maybe you struggled with finding your people after school went online. But thanks to our teachers, we had Google Classroom notifications to make us feel like someone was talking to us. Remember the arrows in the hallways that we had until grade 10, that was fun.

I can't say whether a 鈥減ainting of a water canal from Venice鈥 is important to you. We all have our own image to paint in our minds about what our life has been like, and what it will be. Leading up to graduation, we鈥檝e created a chaotic canvas that shows all the different directions we thought we would go, some past mistakes and fixes, and a grown, new style of ourselves. I hope we can all look back on what we used to be, and what we have become and appreciate the challenges we鈥檝e faced.

There were times in grade 8 when the struggle was finding a spot to sit on the ramp, or surviving a Mr. Lappa headlock. The tragedy of the couches that were so wrongly taken from us, watching mice run out of people's lockers in the art lounge, or squeezing through people as you鈥檇 try to get on the city bus after school. Those are some of the memories in my old little Italian singing men boat painting when it comes to Westsyde.

I would like to recognize Westsyde's staff for giving us the tools to finish our so-called canvases. Such as a Mr. Will's story, where he paints a visual for us of his rugged cowboy days, firefighting, and living any and all types of lives that seem impossible for one man to live. Those paintings of his allowed me to explore many interests of mine that I wouldn't have been able to without all of his help. Then there's the insightful, intense encouragement Mrs. Beeds always has that would find ways to somehow put me at ease when I wanted to drop out of Calculus many times. Thanks for sticking with me Lily. Oh and Mr. Marriots unique set of eyes for artistry that my photo assignments won't be, he taught me that I can edit a photo really poorly and still get a good mark, and I'd imagine he'd look at it and be like, "Is that a giraffe man with frog legs?!鈥漚nd I would be like, 鈥渙hhh. That鈥檚 my dad鈥.鈥

Finally, I would like to acknowledge our grad class, pushing through to graduation. We all know 8th grade sucked. I鈥檓 glad that despite our clickiness, that I was able to get to know so many of you. It鈥檚 incredible to see all the places you鈥檒l go, and things you鈥檒l be up to after graduation. Some may be travelling to a new city, province, maybe even a new country. Some are going into trades, and some have already begun that journey. We have people awarded amazing scholarships and bursary awards, and people headed off to university. During this year we had grads who were part of successful sport teams, making it to provincials like the girls soccer team. We also got the chance to get to know the exchange students. Which I thank you for coming this year, it was so fun getting to know you all. 

I hope we as a grad class can take the time to thank the people that were there for us during our time here. The people you met before, during, and as it ends that smile when you walk in a door, you may not get the chance to realize all the people there for you until they鈥檙e gone. But also look forward to what life has to offer. There鈥檚 so many more experiences to be had. Take time to appreciate moments spent sitting in grass and slowly getting itchy. I heard recently from someone that, 鈥淲hen life isn鈥檛 horrible it鈥檚 actually pretty good.鈥

So as a final send off, be kind to yourself. We need more kind people in the world, and that starts with you. And maybe like enjoy some Italian music, it鈥檚 a great country we should explore some day. Make your own footsteps in the sand and take it easy graduates. 

Chase Secondary

Chase Secondary: Kash Pooley & Mercedes Miller
Kash Pooley Speech

Hello everybody my name is Kash Pooley and I am one of the valedictorians of grad class 2024, I want to thank Mercy Miller for her speech and thank you all for coming out to support and be here on this special day. Today is a big day for all of us. We are leaving high school and opening the door to a whole new world none of us have really experienced yet. This exciting but scary chapter is something we've all been looking forward to since we got to high school and here we are, there is no turning back now.

When I got to high school I was pretty nervous, we were the first grade 7 class to be in the high school and that put a lot of eyes on me and my classmates. But it's crazy to say that wasn鈥檛 even the hard year of high school because in 2020 the coronavirus took us all out of school and work. It was such a weird time for all of us although some of us were just happy to be playing games at home all day. But we survived the pandemic and we came back strong, it took some people longer than the others to re-adjust to school but we did it and there is no doubt about that.

I am so proud of the people we have become and people we are becoming. There isn't one person sitting up here with me that I can say I'm not proud of, we鈥檝e come a long way together and I just want to say I couldn't have asked for a better grad class than you guys. I'm rooting for all of you and your futures no matter what you chose to do with your life you鈥檒l always have a buddy cheering you on, whether we live 10 minutes away or 10 hours away I'm praying for all of you to succeed in life and I know you will.

Now I would like to say thank you to all the teachers and staff of CSS, there was never a dull moment with you guys there was always something going on whether it was one of Mr. Lemons rants or one of Mr. Leonard's class long talks with us but it was always a great time here at CSS, so I want to thank you all for making this school what it is today, and personally thank you all for believing in me.

Now I would like to give some advice to my younger peers, I know you all have heard this a million times but stay in school, because I know from experience if you skip and don鈥檛 show up it makes it harder for everyone in the long run. I had no motivation to go to school and get it done and if it weren鈥檛 for my great parents and a few specific teachers I wouldn鈥檛 be standing up here today talking to all of you. All my life I fought with school, I couldn鈥檛 pay attention in class and I didn鈥檛 listen to my teachers. Finally the realization that I was getting nowhere hit me. So from there on I started to take school seriously, I went from I鈥檚 and C-鈥檚 to A鈥檚 and B鈥檚 and some C+鈥檚 and it feels great. The feeling you get when you just turned in an assignment and you're back on track is great and it gave me motivation to keep working hard and keep handing in my work. So I am proof that you can work hard through a Learning Disability and a lack of motivation and be standing up here in front of your family and friends.

And finally to wrap things up, thank you to my class for making these 6 years fly by. It seems like yesterday I was walking through those doors for the first time scared that I wasn鈥檛 going to make a whole lot of friends. And now look at us, some are best friends, some are friends, some are acquaintances, maybe even enemies. But we did this together alongside one another through the process of high school. So people I ask that you give it up for your Grad class of 2024.

Mercedes Miller Speech

Good Afternoon family friends, teachers and most importantly, fellow class of 2024. My name is Mercedes Miller, and I am so incredibly honoured to be representing my class as one of your 2024 valedictorians. On behalf of my class I would like to thank everyone for being able to join us on this wonderful day.

I'd like to start by congratulating my class, we made it!! We have gotten to this point in our lives and it was a roller coaster to say the least, we made it through being 12 year olds in high school, through a pandemic, we made it through all of lemons rants, and all, the times Leonard went off topic and turned the class into a debate room. I am starting to think they were the ones procrastinating. Anyways, through it all we have still gotten to this point today, where we celebrate our accomplishments one last time together.

Throughout our time together we have gone through everything, happiness, sadness, anger, we have laughed and we have cried but in the end, it made us the people we are today. I would especially like to thank the teachers who have pushed and shoved us to get here, because let's be real, they really are a big part of us making it here today. They have taught us what we鈥檝e needed to know, what we did not want to know, and even though everyone jokes about it, yes they actually have taught us things that will help us in our future. I thank not only the teachers I had through these years, but all the teachers in the school, you put up with us, over and over again. And yet you all still made sure we would be able to walk the stage. I also want to thank our principal and vice principal. Mr. Gartrell, we are so lucky to have you in this school and I truly hope the younger classes appreciate you as much as we did, and thank you for sitting on call for 30 minutes to get my school account activated even though I only had one week left of school. Mr. Lowe, we gave you a run for your money, and there's been ups and downs, but the time and work you have put in to make our school a better place deserves to be recognized.

I would like to take a moment to recognize one person who has been the whole reason I am here, the woman I am proud to be able to call not only my mom but my best friend. Mom, the support, time and love that you have shown me through these years is why I am standing up here today, no literally she made a run for valedictorian. But on a serious note, thank you for pushing me to reach my accomplishments, there are hundreds of things I would regret not doing if she wasn't there making sure I did. I'd also like to thank my father, who has done so much behind the scenes to get me to this spot and the work he has put in to be able to give me all of the wonderful opportunities I鈥檝e experienced.

I am more than grateful for all the memories and all the relationships I have built throughout my own years at CSS, from visiting Griff, Lori and Nancy in the office all the time, to possibly using an extended bathroom break to go and hang out with Franny. And I cannot in good conscience say this speech without letting everyone know that I wrote 鈥淢ercy Was Here鈥 on Mr. Lehman's board every single day for grade 10, 11, and 12. And then When I made the choice to leave early in the year I knew I needed to make sure my name stayed up, so I went to the wood room, where Mr. Doolan let Elyssa and I burn the words 鈥淢ercy was here鈥 in a block of wood to put into lehmans room so my legacy would live on. I am thankful for the memories I have with my friends, running around the halls to find Mikayla, getting mad at Shyla for always taking my pencils, and playing silly computer games with Elyssa, Ben and Jacob. Side note I beat the super tux game TWICE. So I thank you, for everything.

I am happy to say this celebration marks the day that the journeys that we have been preparing for begin. Everything over the past 13 years of our lives has not only led us to today, but has led us to our futures. Our parents were right, high school went by fast, it seems like just yesterday I had no clue where I was going and which class I was supposed to be in. Even though it's school, I hope each and every one of you enjoyed at least some of your time here. And whether you are excited, sad or both, our time here has run its course.

The truth about it is, I always believed that this was the end, and I hate endings, I joke about not being able to finish TV shows or books because for me it's just sad, but truly, this isn't even close to the end, were growing up, were moving on, and yes we are saying goodbye, not to each other or the people we know, but to our younger selves that are now memories running through these halls.

With that, Congratulations class of 2024, we did it!!!!!

Barriere Secondary

Barriere Secondary: Ava Jules
 Ava Jules Speech

Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed faculty members, honoured guests, proud parents, and my fellow graduates,

As we gather here today to celebrate the conclusion of years of hard work and dedication, I am deeply honored to stand before you as the valedictorian of our class. This moment is not just a milestone in our academic journey; it is a testament to our resilience, perseverance, and unwavering commitment to excellence.

Four years ago we we鈥檙e just a bunch of grade 8鈥檚 who had no clue what we were doing. Trying to figure out which classes to sign up for and which sports to join, then before we knew it we鈥檙e seniors about to graduate.

As someone who didn鈥檛 join sports until grade 10 I spent most of my time with family, or in dance class and going to dance competitions. I remember one year I had messed up by not being in line with the wings on the side of the stage and I slipped on the curtain and almost missed my cue to go back on stage. It was pretty funny. I wish you had all been there to witness that.

Looking back on that moment, I realize school and even life are filled with moments like that. We are all going to stumble and fall at some point and we just have to be there for each other. School isn鈥檛 just about textbooks and assignments. It鈥檚 about the communities and friendships we make outside of the classroom. This is how we grow and become the best version of ourselves.

Throughout our time here, we've been more than just students鈥攚e've been a community. We've supported each other through late-night study sessions, celebrated victories together, and lifted each other up during moments of doubt. It's this sense of companionship that has made our time here truly special.

But today is not just about looking back; it's also about looking forward with hope and anticipation. As we prepare to embark on the next phase of our lives, we must carry with us the lessons we've learned here. We must remember the importance of perseverance in the face of adversity, the value of collaboration, and the power of kindness.

I would like to give a special thanks to those graduating that have shown up to school and gave it their best shot. If there is one skill you have already proved that you can take with you after graduation, it鈥檚 the ability to always show up. Show up for your friends. Show up for your family. Show up for your hobbies. Show up for your work. Show up for your future children. You have shown up for the last 12 years, don鈥檛 stop now. We not only had to go through the Covid-19 pandemic during grade 8 but we had to make sacrifices to be here today. We have attended school since a very young age. Expected to be okay with going to school from September to June, five days a week, for 6 hours a day. Completing grade 12 is a major milestone and I am proud of every single one of you for not giving up.

Each of us has the power to make a difference in the world, no matter how big or small our contributions may seem. Whether we choose to pursue further education, enter the workforce, or pursue other passions, let us do so with a sense of purpose and a commitment to making a meaningful impact.

Although saying goodbye to this chapter of our lives may be saddening, let us embrace the unknown with courage and optimism. Let us dare to dream big and work tirelessly to turn those dreams into reality. Let us remember that no matter what happens we have each other.  And let us always remember that no matter where life takes us, we will forever be bound by the memories we've created together.

Congratulations, Class of 2024! As we step into the future, let us do so with confidence, determination, and a sense of purpose. The world is waiting for us to make our mark, and I have no doubt that together, we will change it for the better.


Clearwater Secondary

Clearwater Secondary: Reid Muddiman
 Reid Muddiman Speech

Good evening Trustee Sim, Assistant Superintendent Hamblett, Staff, Families and most importantly, fellow graduates. Today we gather to celebrate the CSS grad class of 2024. First off, congratulations to all my classmates for not only completing the 13 years of schooling but also for making it here, on time, to this commencement ceremony. For some of us, it might be the first time we didn鈥檛 need a late slip!

Grads, this ceremony marks a monumental milestone in your life. Today brings an opportunity to reflect on your past and turn your gaze toward the future. Free from the confines of school structure, you are on your own to travel the world, leap into the workforce, become a ski bum living in your parent's basement, or - of course - go straight back to school. The world is indeed your oyster.

Things are going to change around you in the coming months and years as you take on new challenges, meet new people, and explore new places. While all of this is happening, it is important to remind yourself of what matters most in life to you. At the same time, challenge yourself to create serendipitous interactions, open your mind to new experiences, and embrace them when you can. Don鈥檛 let yourself fall into a cycle of monotony; push yourself to try new things and seek new experiences outside of your comfort zone. Throughout our high school years, it's been easy to build up barriers that keep us from embracing the unconventional. But now that school is behind you, make a conscious effort to break down those walls and welcome whatever comes your way.
I work as a server at the Hop N Hog, and a week ago I served two people who had spontaneously met in the line while waiting for the restaurant to open. Despite there being more than enough tables for them, the two decided to eat together. It wasn鈥檛 romantically charged, nobody asked them to do it, they just did it.

It鈥檚 that type of spontaneity, and openness that I think is crucial, especially with so much of our lives moving into a digital medium. It鈥檚 important to form real connections and make the things you experience in real life feel exciting and unique.

Don鈥檛 ask why should I do something, ask why not. Ask yourself for forgiveness, not permission. And when life gives you lemons, don't just make lemonade like everyone else; build a lemon cannon and organize a neighborhood lemon-launching competition. Do something radically different from anything anyone else has even thought of doing. Connect with others and take every chance to learn something new or meet someone with a unique view on life. Take the freedom of graduation as an opportunity to make your life as interesting as possible, because soon enough, you鈥檙e going to be too old and too cranky to do anything fun.

A lot of people say that your teenage years are the best years of your life, but I say take that as a challenge to prove them wrong. Make the next few years the most adventurous and exciting years of your life. Embrace spontaneity and just go do something.

A year from now, you probably won鈥檛 remember anything I said here, heck I might not even remember. But if you take anything away from this speech, let it be this: Dare to be different, push yourself out of your comfort zone, and never shy away from the chance to make your life as unique as possible.

Thank you.

Kamloops School of Arts

Kamloops School of Arts: Asha Miller & Abbey Seymour
Asha Miller and Abbey Seymour Speech

Good evening, honoured guests, faculty, family, friends, and most importantly, the class of 2024. We, Abbey Seymour and Asha Miller, stand before you as this year's co-valedictorians.

Our journey as friends, from the early days of kindergarten in KSA to this moment, has been an impactful one. Representing the class of 2024 is not just a personal achievement, but a testament to the unity and strength of our class. We are proud to have reached this milestone together. 

After all our years of dedication and effort, here we are with something meaningful to show. For some, it may be a relief to get out of here, but for others, it鈥檚 a means to an end. Although this is where our high school journeys finish, we are starting a new and just as exciting chapter! To be honest, we procrastinated on writing this speech for so long because, in the end, it meant our time at KSA was coming to a close.

We will miss the endless tests in Stella鈥檚 class and copious essays in Gendron鈥檚.

Mac interrupting a quiet classroom, Kubin showing up late and our parents pulling us out of bed early.

It doesn't seem like long ago we walked into the halls of KSA, some for the first time, some of us for the hundredth. We went to our classes fearful and dressed in our 鈥渢rendy鈥 outfits, wondering what we were in for. We had yet to learn we would get kazoos banned within months, had no idea how loud and long our school announcements would be, and had no idea how many science and math projects would involve singing and dancing. And we certainly didn't know we would be completing our 8th-grade year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic presented us with unforeseen challenges, forcing us to adapt to a new level of education. Our first 'normal' year of high school wasn鈥檛 until grade 10, when we could finally attend classes in person. Despite the trials of online learning, we persevered and continued our journey together. Our class, marked by resilience, has not only survived but thrived. We have created extraordinary memories and connections through class parties, field trips, games, jokes, songs, dances, and much more.

Throughout our time at KSA, we were told there was something special about our grad class, and they were right. We have built a strong bond over the years, enduring the ups and downs and staying close. By losing people to different schools, we have gained valuable others in our little family. Over the years, we have created unforgettable memories. Who can forget about our play adaptation to the story Bone Button Borscht in grade 11, where we stepped out of our comfort zones and performed in front of multiple classes?

I know I couldn鈥檛! I had the prestigious role of Villager #3.

Or our trip to Kelowna this year, where we had a blast in the pool and played games in our hotel rooms. These experiences allowed us to develop stronger bonds and get to know each other better. Without the staff at KSA, these things would not have been possible so we would like to express our gratitude to each of you.

So to the high school teachers who welcomed us daily and pushed us to reach our full potential, thank you. Or our wonderful CEAs who never doubted our minds and abilities. Thank you to our distinguished librarians, and Mrs. Leonard who bring knowledge and joy to our classrooms. And our lovely administrators for keeping this place afloat and being a welcoming presence.

Thank you to the custodial staff that makes our school such a great place to learn. And the elementary teachers, who taught us everything we know about education, and even welcomed some of us back this year to continue to learn from their leadership. And to the people who are the foundation of our success, our friends and families; some of whom are here with us tonight. Thank you for always believing in us. We appreciate everything you have done for us, we wouldn't be where we are today without all of you.

We are confident that each of us will move on to achieve amazing things. We hope the bonds we have developed over the years will prove strong enough to withstand the distance between us. We know we are destined for great things and can't wait to hear about them. And as much as our future is exciting, we also reminisce and celebrate all the moments we shared and the goals we have achieved. We have come a long way and are ready to embrace the future with open arms.   

So, to the class of 2024 and our dedicated faculty, we extend our heartfelt gratitude. Thank you for the years of excitement, challenges, and growth. To our future graduates, we urge you to cherish your time here. KSA is more than just a school; it鈥檚 a community and a family. Every lesson, class, performance, lunch hour, assembly, and conversation has shaped us into the individuals we are today.

We are grateful to KSA for all it has given us. You will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Sun Peaks School

@KOOL / Sun Peaks School: Paula Erler
Grade 12 Commencement Ceremonies
Monday, May 27, 2024 Twin Rivers Education Centre Parkcrest (George Hilliard) 5:00 PM
Tuesday, May 28, 2024 Four-Directions Secondary Parkcrest (George Hilliard) 5:00 PM
Wednesday, May 29, 2024 Continuing Education Parkcrest (George Hilliard) 5:00 PM
Thursday, May 30, 2024 District Honours Reception TRU Grand Hall 6:30 PM
Monday, June 3, 2024 Aboriginal Graduation McArthur Island Sports Centre 5:00 PM
Tuesday, June 4, 2024 NorKam Senior Secondary McArthur Island Sports Centre 7:00 PM
Wednesday, June 5, 2024 Valleyview Secondary McArthur Island Sports Centre 7:00 PM
Thursday, June 6, 2024 Sa-Hali Secondary McArthur Island Sports Centre 7:00 PM
Friday, June 7, 2024 Logan Lake Secondary Logan Lake Secondary Gym 7:00 PM
Friday, June 7, 2024 South Kamloops Secondary McArthur Island Sports Centre 7:00 PM
Saturday, June 8, 2024 Westsyde Secondary McArthur Island Sports Centre 1:00 PM
Thursday, June 13, 2024 @KOOL - CANCELLED Pineridge Education Centre - CANCELLED 7:00 PM
Friday, June 14, 2024 Chase Secondary Chase Secondary Gym 4:00 PM
Friday, June 14, 2024 Barriere Secondary Barriere Curling Club 6:00 PM
Friday, June 14, 2024 Clearwater Secondary Clearwater Secondary Gym 6:00 PM
Friday, June 14, 2024 Kamloops School of Arts TRU Grand Ballroom 7:00 PM
Wednesday, June 26, 2024 Sun Peaks Top of the Mountain 4:30 PM

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