Red Hawks soar to new heights
|By Alex Coop - Staff Writer | June 30, 2016|
A sea of red rolled through the Haliburton Highlands Secondary School (HHSS) gymnasium last night during the school’s 2016 commencement.
Diplomas were handed out to 102 HHSS graduates during a night that highlighted accomplishments and paved the way for post-secondary life.
“The walk across this stage is a mere few dozen steps and will take only a few moments,” vice principal David Waito told students during his opening remarks.
“But the symbolism of this walk during tonight’s ceremony is what’s most important.”
Waito acknowledged the hard work students have accomplished during their years in high school, and encouraged them to look towards the future.
Truth, generosity and a positive attitude were the three points school trustee Gary Brohman emphasized to students.
“Dream big,” he told the graduates.
Principal Dan Marsden asked students to enjoy the moment, but reminded everyone that time doesn’t stand still, and that from now on, life will merge into the fast lane.
“Soon, you will be 20 years old, and your story will be told,” he said. “See your goals and achieve them, because you don’t believe in failure.
All students received a roaring round of applause as they crossed the stage. Some simply shook hands with faculty members upon receiving their diploma, some danced for joy, others took a selfie.
The four-year-long journey from Grade 9 to Grade 12 was a big part of Caleb Schmidt’s valedictorian speech.
He pointed to the friendships formed between junior and senior students during rallies opposing Bill 115.
“We stood out in the freezing cold together … suddenly, the Grade 12s didn’t seem that scary,” Schmidt said.
But he also found time to bring the house down with a few jokes.
“After I saw my first Batman movie, I jumped off the bed and told my mom that I wanted to be Batman … she turned to me and said, ‘Caleb, grow up, you graduate high school next week.’”
ALEX COOP is a reporter for The Highlander.