The Class of 2017

Congratulations to the Class of 2017.

Valedictorian Speech

by Jamison Schulz-Franco
Family. Everyone here tonight is part of a family, within one big family. The big family we all call Grad 2017. Like families, we may not always love each other, but that is the beauty of family, because here we are, together in one room. Starting as one small family in what looked like a huge kindergarten classroom, we grew up learning together, eating together, playing together, and occasionally wrestling. As we grew we gained new members of the family and we grew in both size and character. By the time we reached Grade 5, we were the big fish in the school, but that didn’t last long because one year later we were at the bottom of the food chain once again. Grade 6 was a big year for us as a grade because not only did we gain a new bunch of family members, but attending the Middle School meant more freedom. We had access to the tuck shop, which led to an instant addition of 15 pounds of pure body fat for all the kids who ate kimchi religiously for lunch.

We tested different activities and searched for our passions during exploratory, but somehow the bulk of our grade would always end up trying to play floor hockey with Mr. Pollock. As for others, we spent time building bikes with Mr. Jackson, or building robots with Mr. Floyd or making origami with Hart Sensei. But no matter the activity, we were always able to find a way to make it fun. One school-wide shindig that was always a big hit were the school dances. Absolutely nothing is more fun than a bunch of middle school kids dancing to music and occasionally grabbing each other’s hips from a lengthy distance away. We had to be careful though because if we got any closer than that one metre limit, the ruler would come out and we’d get measured for “regulation size”.

When we arrived at the Senior School suddenly we felt the need to be grown ups, yet we were still curious how students could know when class is over without a bell ringing. The family grew, new members were adopted, and some voices became slightly deeper. Everything felt much more significant in the Senior School, and even though our lives seemed to be so different, much had stayed the same. We were still learning together, eating together, playing together, and wrestling.

Now here we are, after having completed four successful years of high school, leaving a legacy at the school that will never be forgotten. What is our legacy you ask? I asked some of our teachers to give some input on what they thought of us as a class. One teacher called us “energetic to the point where I don’t think they know I’m even there”. Another said “personality, lots of personality.” Whereas others took a different approach and called us “humble and understated”. Lastly, my personal favourite, one teacher called us “just really good looking”. No I lied. No one said that. The point is, our legacy will be vast, but that is only because each and every one of us accomplished something unique.

In this moment, we can appreciate that we’ve reached one of our main goals – as many great times have been had. All of these special moments are impossible to recap in just one speech. But tonight is not just about celebrating what we have done, it is about celebrating what we are capable of doing. From here forward, our knowledge will be tested, we will be pushed out of our comfort zone by people we don’t even know yet. We will have new firsts, and will share new experiences with people who live on the other side of the country, or to the south, or overseas.

Whether it is one minute or one year until we all gather next, Grad Class of 2017, as a family, we’ve made it.

Browse and download photos from the Grade 12 Graduation Ceremony from the SMUS Photo Gallery. Individual photos of members of the Class of 2017 can be found by typing their full name (eg. Rawan Al Ojaily) into the search bar.

Browse and download photos from the Grade 12 Graduation Ceremony from the SMUS Photo Gallery.

(photos by Darin Steinkey)

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