Every class and every Valedictorian does things his or her own way and Saugeen District Senior School (SDSS) graduating class of 2019 proved to be no different.
Graduating secondary school, each of them has now go on to follow a new path. Many have gone on to post secondary education in universities and colleges while others have gone into the work world and still others are remaining for an additional year at SDSS. Regardless, most made the effort to attend their Commencement ceremony and, for many it was also a reunion.
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Josephine Berry traveled from British Columbia where she is attending university, not only to receive a special medal but also to introduce the 2019 Valedictorian.
Berry received the Governor General’s Academic Medal that has been presented since its inception in 1873 by Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third Governor General after Confederation. The medal is presented to the student graduating with the highest grade point average from a Canadian high school, college or university program. The medal is awarded based on academic marks only. Berry also won several other awards throughout the ceremony for achievements in maths and sciences.
She introduced Valedictorian Rein Tiisler, who is going on to Queen’s University in Engineering, saying that, “He’s funny, he’s smart and is an athlete whose been part of the football team, Nordic Skiing and Rugby. ”
Tiisler began his address saying that he and his classmates were no longer the “bright-eyed Grade nines who came into the school.” He also had words of wisdom for his peers saying that, “The future may seem muddled sometimes but it you get through this, you will be successful.”
It was then that he did what no other Valedictorian has done and, in his own unique style, broke into ‘rapping’ with the entire audience clapping along.
At the end, vice-Principal Ms. Paylor said that it was “… definitely a first for the school.”
Acknowledgements were also given to the Senior Band under the direction of Mrs. Boys, the many donors for their support and the community for its support for the Musical Theatre Program as it enabled it to provide the graduates’ gowns for the evening.