By Joel van der Veen
DAVIDSON — Thirteen years ago, they entered Davidson Elementary School as blank books, stories waiting to be written.
Now, 2,275 school days later, they’re ready for the next step.
As valedictorian Andrew Read addressed his classmates and an audience of more than 300 last weekend, he reminded them of how far they’ve come and the highs and lows they’ve faced over the years.
“This is where we first solved one plus one, and then a few years later, we learned to solve for x, and there isn’t even any number,” he recalled.
Though the graduates are excited for what’s to come, Read noted the importance of the foundation they’ve received: “The beginning is the most important part.”
On June 10, Davidson School honoured the 17 students who make up the class of 2017, holding its annual graduation exercises in the gymnasium.
Arlene Low served as mistress of ceremonies. She donned a red-and-white striped hat for the occasion, mimicking the Cat in the Hat, and read all her lines in rhyme, a la Dr. Seuss.
Paulette Killoh introduced the graduates one by one, while vice-principal Cathy Rettger and trustee John Collins presented the diplomas.
Geena Heinrich sang “O Canada,” followed by the principal’s remarks.
Jason Low recalled his own graduation ceremony (HOW MANY YEARS AGO) and talked about the “bubble” that surrounds students as they make their way through school.
“Inside this bubble you feel invincible,” he said. “You feel like the buble is going to be with you your whole life.”
Inevitably, though, the bubble bursts, and graduates must find their own paths, he said.
He offered some advice to the grads and also recognized their efforts, as well as the contributions of parents and staff who guided them to this point.
Concluding his speech, Low made note of Murad Al-Katib, who graduated from Davidson High School in 1990, and who had won the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 award the same day as the grad.
“Sitting here on this stage today, anything is possible,” said Low, following a round of applause from the audience.
A highlight of the ceremony was a brief presentation made by Shawn Spencer and Barrett Prettyshield, two band council members from Carry the Kettle First Nation, located an hour east of Regina.
They came to present a colourful star blanket to graduate Jade Thomson, a member of their band, in honour of her achievement.
“We jumped on our horses,” joked Spencer, drawing laughs from the audience. “I think the only business I’ve ever had in Davidson was grabbing a Teen Burger and heading to Saskatoon . . . (but) it’s a beautiful town.”
Speaking later to the Leader, Spencer said the council has made a practice of recognizing its members for their achievements at various levels.
He expressed their appreciation to the school and community for providing Thomson with her education.
For the full story, please see the June 19 edition of The Davidson Leader, or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.