St. Andrew’s School Class of 2017 celebrates its graduation

Graduating student Layton Gauchier, right, receives a Metis sash from his uncle, Iner Gauchier, council chair of Peavine Metis Settlement, middle. School principal Marc Lamoureux stands at left.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

St. Andrew’s Catholic School in High Prairie honoured 17 graduates in the Class of 2017 on Aug. 26.

“Watch Us Grow” was the theme for ceremonies at the Edmo Peyre Hall after mass at St. Paul’s Catholic Church.

“Watch us grow does not end today, a new vine or flower petals will rise for everyone sitting beside me today,” says class valedictorian Ramona Bokhout.

Nicole Beaver was presented the Governor General’s Academic Medal.

Graduates were congratulated and encouraged by several people.

“As you head into the world, consciously nurture your path and build relationships, says principal Marc Lamoureux.

Messages were expressed from Holy Family Catholic Regional School Division.

“Let your light shine to others, but most importantly in the eyes of God,” says Carmelle Lizee, trustee for High Prairie.

Other words were added by Supt. Betty Turpin.

“As you grow into your life after school, go, knowing that the only limits you have are those that you place on yourself,” Turpin says.
“May you have wisdom in heart and mind, success in every challenge you find, courage to seek life’s purpose for you, belief in yourself to make it true, strength to do your best and endure, and the guiding light of faith to ensure that wherever you go, whatever you do, God’s love will always see you through.”

Leaders of the Town of High Prairie and Big Lakes County congratulated the graduates.

“As you grow further, I know that you are ready to face the world as your teachers, your parents and your faith have provided for you,” High Prairie Mayor Linda Cox says.
“I can only hope that as we watch you grow through your next years, that you achieve success and happiness; growing never stops.
“Sometimes the experiences are hard to bear, but rest assured, bad experiences do end and the sun does shine again.”

County Reeve Ken Matthews added his congratulations.

“The message here is that whatever you do, make it something you enjoy,” Matthews says.

He says the support of friends and family will be vital heading into the future.

“There will be challenges, ups and downs, good times and bad times,” Matthews says.
“The choice is yours to ensure the ups and good times are the majority and always remember, all your actions affect some one.”

St. Andrew’s teachers Jessica Richardson and Kelsey Voysey were the guest speakers and reflected on the theme.

“We watered you, gave you sunlight and watched all of you grow, some of you from elementary school, some of you only more recently,” Voysey says to open the speech.
“But we know that you will all continue to evolve as you move into the next chapters in your lives, armed with the necessities to embrace your futures.”

Graduates were urged to progress in life.

“Grow every day, feed your mind, your body, your very soul, every day,” Richardson says.
“Grow even through the hard days; learn from your mistakes and hardships, examine the paths that bring you joy and happiness.
“Lean on others; it’s okay to need help in moments.”

Graduates were spiritually blessed during mass.

“If you want to achieve excellence in a big tent, pay attention to the little things,” Father George Okoye says.

More words were given by Father Michael Uso-Ereyi, a priest in the Grouard-McLennan Archdiocese.

“Knowledge is power and you are recipients of power,” Uso-Ereyi says.
“You are graduating into great responsibility.

Nicole Beaver, right, receives the Governor General’s Academic Medal from principal Marc Lamoureux.
Men in the graduating class show off their suits. Left-right, are Chad Halldorson, Wade Rederburg, Layton Gauchier, Claude Halcrow, Trinity Sugai, Ryan Desjarlais, Justin Garope, Ashton Halldorson, Mitchell Wilson and Marcus Willier.
Ladies in the graduating class show off their gowns. Left-right, are Alixaundria Lamothe, Starr Sapp, Ramona Bokhout, Sheila Ominayak, Josuandra Almonte and Nicole Beaver.
Graduating student Sheila Ominayak, right, receives Eagle feather from Sandra Willier, councillor for Sucker Creek First Nation. School principal Marc Lamoureux stands at left.
Graduates get ready to receive their diplomas. Left-right, are Marcus Willier, Starr Sapp, Wade Rederburg and Sheila Ominayak.
Graduating student Trinity Sugai, right, walks in with his escort, Kennedy Buchan.
Graduating students, Yosuandra Almonte, left, and Layton Gauchier walk in during the ceremonies.
Ryan Desjarlais, right, gives a rose to his grandmother Mildred Supernault.
St. Andrew’s teachers, left-right, Jessica Richardson and Kelsey Voysey were guest speakers.
Wade Rederburg, right, receives his diploma from principal Marc Lamoureux.

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