OJSH Graduation 2018
Posted on June 29th, 2018
In September, graduation for OJSH Grade 12 students was an exciting but still a distant dream. However, as this year’s 80 graduates can attest, the year seemed to fly by as courses, assignments, projects, studying, extra-curricular activities and, of course, final exams consumed their time.
On June 29th, graduation for the Class of 2018 became a reality. Graduation ceremonies this year were significant in that most of these graduates were born in the year 2000 – the beginning of a new century.
The OJSH Grad day began at 2:15 pm when beautiful girls and handsome boys, dressed in their finest formal wear, gathered in the gymnasium to have a group photo taken. Then it was a rush to dressing rooms to quickly change into the grad cap and gowns. Staff members were on hand to assist our graduates so that they made it in time for the 2:45 pm formal group portrait – this photo will become the portrait that will eventually hang on our school walls. Once the formal picture taking was complete, it was time for the ceremony at 3:30 pm. The ceremony was live streamed on the school’s web site.
Principal Lobo conducted the ceremony as proud parents and siblings, relatives, community members and honoured guests watched the proceedings. Mr. Lobo gave the opening address that preceded the Grad 2018 procession. After OJSH Grade 10 student Mikaela Olsen led the audience in “O Canada, it was time for dignitaries to give greetings and special messages to the grad class.
Mrs. Melanie Fitzgerald spoke on behalf of the OJSH School Council. It was an honour to have the MP for Sturgeon River-Parkland, Dane Lloyd speak to the students and assembled guests. Mr. Joe Blakeman, Reeve, brought greetings from Lac Ste. Anne County. Next, bringing greetings from the Hon. Oneil Carlier, MLA for Whitecourt-Ste. Anne was Mrs. Judy Tracy, Mayor of the Town of Onoway. The Superintendent’s message of congratulations was brought to the grads by Mrs. Leslee Jodry while Mr. Wade Neilson spoke to the grads on behalf of the Town of Onoway. The grads were honoured to have Chief Tony Alexis of the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation speak next. After Chief Alexis, congratulating the grads was NGPS Chair, Mrs. Judy Muir. As a tribute to the graduating class, the students were saluted with an Honour Song performed by the Logan Alexis Singers. Valedictorian Drew Fitzgerald then spoke on behalf of the graduating class, encapsulating how meaningful this special day was for her and each and every graduate.
The ceremony continued as the graduates were introduced by teacher Mrs. Holly Elliott and E.A. Mr. Ray Huxley. Each student came onto the stage and received their diploma and a handshake from Mr. Lobo. In a special tribute to the graduates’ success, those who were First Nations also received an eagle feather from OJSH Native Counsellor Tracey Noyes. The eagle feathers had been blessed by an Elder, Francis Alexis in a ceremony several days prior to the ceremony. Those graduating students of Metis heritage received a special Metis sash from Counsellor Dean Bellerose.
After Mr. Lobo gave his closing remarks, there was the Grad 2018 Recession with special songs chosen by the students. This was the time for family hugs and photos, a change out of the grad gowns into formal wear before going off to the arena for the banquet and an evening filled with family, friends, laughter, some tears, and a sense of joy and accomplishment.
The staff at OJSH wish this year’s graduating class safe journeys and a wonderful future.