The gym at North Queens Rural High School was a scene of tears, laughter and pride on June 28, as students were acknowledged for their academic achievements in the 2010 graduation ceremony.
In a ceremony that is not only about the individual, but collective achievements of students, the North Queens class and various guest speakers showed how the students are more like a family than classmates by recalling memorable moments and events from the past 13 years.
As the guest speaker, former teacher, Marlene MacMichael recalled fondly how, as physical education teacher, the students were a very active group, as they wanted gym class. When the students got older, MacMichael taught them in a more conventional classroom setting and said their enthusiasm, and energy remained through each new thing they learned.
During the class history presented by Erika Huskins, Lucas Smith and Tiffany Mansfield, the students told stories of the group’s years together.
Huskins recalled how she was the only girl in a class of five who came to the high school from Greenfield Elementary. She laughed saying that while she always had to do the things the boys wanted to, such as jumping in the mud after a storm. Sometimes the tables were turned though. Huskins recalled fondly a class trip to celebrate their graduation from one school to the next. She wanted to go shopping, and the boys had to come with her.
Valedictorian Aaron Joudrey continued the message of togetherness the others spoke of, but also realized he and his fellow graduates have to look towards the future and the journey that awaits them.
“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself,” said Joudrey, quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson. “Go forward and make your dreams come true.”
Even with the class going their own separate ways, the graduates remained confident they would always be apart of each other’s lives. Lucas Smith, who presented the class future, showed how they will always need each other for something in the future, whether it be a plumber or a doctor’s appointment.
Principal David O’Quinn summed up this feeling in his speech, “As you leave us to enter a new era of your lives, hold on to your friendships, memories and passions.”
Overall, approximately $35,000 in scholarship money was presented to the students, with the Queen Elizabeth II Medal going to Erika Huskins and the Governor General’s Award to Aaron Joudrey.