Madawaska Valley District High School (MVDHS) students bade farewell to their high school years on June 30 with a virtual graduation ceremony on YouTube. Members of the Class of 2021 celebrated with the usual gowns, mortarboards, speeches, awards and, of course, those baby pictures. But unlike an in-person graduation ceremony, this one remains on YouTube, so family and friends can celebrate the students’ achievements later if they missed the live event. Scroll down for video link.
The graduation ceremony was emceed by Lionel Kingstone, MVDHS Vice-Principal, and it opened with a guitar performance of O Canada. In keeping with tradition, Adrianna Tomasini read The Beatitudes in memory of Ann Marie Bloskie. Board Trustee David F. Kaiser provided a video message of congratulations.
Then MVDHS Principal Dean Zadow (inset) addressed the graduating students. He congratulated the students saying they should be proud of their accomplishments – “even more proud considering the circumstances you faced while reaching your goals.” The Principal issued a challenge: “Graduates, I challenge you to reflect on how this pandemic has changed you as a person. How will you move forward to make our community and the global community a better place? I know you will.”
MVDHS Major Awards
Click BELOW for recipient of each award.
The 2021 Valedictorians are Gillian Summers and Aidan Cruchet (inset). Scroll down for a link to the video ceremony to hear the entire Valedictory Address they delivered on the beach at Kamaniskeg Lake, dressed in caps and gowns. Both referred to the unique experience of Covid-style learning. Cruchet said, “The pandemic wasn’t supposed to be part of our curriculum but we adapted and made it part of our senior year not once but twice.” Summers added, “It has been a difficult year of missing friends, family, peers, and what we may call our old lives. However, I am more than confident to say that I know each and every one of us has grown tremendously this year and will be able to use these new experiences and values to move forward into our futures.” Cruchet summed up with, “No matter what happens in the future we will have these years to remind us we didn’t give up. And I believe that is a lesson that is worth every second of the last four years.”
Presentation of the class of 2021
MVDHS faculty members Kevin Klawitter and Carrie Sweeney presented the graduates, citing awards, bursaries, special skills and highlighting the students’ post-secondary destinations. They also thanked those who provided bursaries and awards for the students. Pick up your free copy of the July 1 print issue of The Madawaska Valley Current for an insert listing all graduates.
Olympian delivers an inspirational message
Melissa Bishop-Nriagu, Eganville native and 2X Olympian athlete aiming for her third Olympics in Tokyo this year, (inset) delivered an inspirational video message to all Renfrew County District School Board graduates of 2021. She told them to “Celebrate the endless hours of preparation, studying and screen time you have had to endure to get to this moment today.” She acknowledged the commitment they had demonstrated to get to this point and ended by saying, “And remember – only you are in control of the future you want to have. So congratulations, Class of 2021 – you did it!”
Moving forward, looking back
The ceremony ended with original music When New Doors Open by Kirk Harber played over photos of grads and their baby pictures. And of course, the obligatory Wolf Howl.
If you missed the ceremony in real time, you can view the 1-hour video on YouTube:
Media, photos supplied by MVDHS Graduation Committee