St. A graduates celebrate years of dedication

“We need to welcome them and let them know that have their place in the world alongside us.” St. Augustine principal Curt Baron

Alyssa Rain and other St. Augustine Catholic School graduates stand at attention during O’Canada during the cap and gown ceremony May 29.

Alyssa Rain and other St. Augustine Catholic School graduates stand at attention during O’Canada during the cap and gown ceremony May 29.

The theme of We Are Stars rang true last week during St. Augustine Catholic School’s graduation ceremonies with 23 students thinking of their bright futures.

Dignitaries, students and parents had a tough time containing their excitement during the cap and gown ceremony held at the St. Augustine gym, May 29. Principal Curt Baron said the graduates are entering a new phase in their lives.

“We need to welcome them and let them know that have their place in the world alongside us,” said Baron.

He suggested this year’s graduating class had been a group all teachers enjoyed seeing grow. “They’re just such a cohesive group.”

He praised their diligence in getting to this stage in their lives.

Representing the Town of Ponoka was Coun. Loana Gulka, who said younger students will be looking up at this year’s graduates. She recommended that while their future is open to many possibilities, they should still enjoy life.

“To be a star, always remember it’s important to play,” said Gulka.

She suggested that graduates would be mentors to a younger generation but she advised they also be unafraid to learn

“You should each set goals in your own life that will be like stars,” explained Gulka.

Representing the Cree First Nations was Samson Cree Coun. Marvin Yellowbird, who was proud to announce that 25 Samson Cree youths will be graduating this year. He suggests education is a key to opportunities and praised three First Nations students graduating from St. Augustine.

He presented Anastasia Johnson and Alyssa Rain each with an eagle feather. He told the story of his son who witnessed the death of an eagle. That son took the eagle to an elder who said, “Use the feathers to honour others.”

Yellowbird felt this was an ideal opportunity to praise Rain and Johnson for the efforts. St. Augustine has three First Nations Métis and Inuit students graduating this year.

Kevin Booth, assistant superintendent of the St. Thomas Aquinas School Division congratulated students and told them this was a time of celebration. He advised they be willing to learn new things but says, “The world’s changed a lot since 1996.”

With a fast-changing world, Booth suggests graduates should not only rely on themselves but also on God.

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Rod Fox recommended students continue forward with their plans. “Whatever path you choose, I wish you all success,” said Fox.

The ceremony was followed by photos for family and friends and parents could be seen congratulating their children.