What happens when two graduates end up with the highest grade point average down to the last decimal point? One answer is to give both of them the valedictorian title, and that is just what principal Ian Rawlinson did.
Taylor Kim and Kit Christopher were presented the Valedictorian Award on June 1 during Ponoka Composite High School’s graduation ceremonies.
“They were so close, in fact, they were exactly the same right down to the percentage point. 93.45698562,” he stated.
Rawlinson feels choosing between the two was unfair as they were both dedicated to their work. There was a slight bump in the schedule as Christopher had to run to his truck to get the speeches, but eventually Kim began.
“Today is a momentous occasion for all of us as it marks the end of a challenging road, and a new beginning to the next stage of our lives,” said Kim.
He thanked the staff and teachers for their dedication to a positive school environment. Without them it would be somewhat akin to “a cake without the icing.” Care for students is the key to what makes the staff so special to students, suggested Kim.
He thanked parents for their work to ensure their children were able to stay in and complete high school.
“To be honest, we should thank them for bringing us here in the first place,” he stated.
Not forgetting the students’ dedication, Kim said they should also be recognized for doing the work to get to graduation while PCHS went through construction.
Despite some nervousness, Christopher was sang-froid in his speech, saying friendship was a major concern for graduates.
“There are a myriad of ways in which a strong friendship guides individuals around all walks of life,” Christopher stated.
Friends can help each other through good times and bad, offer encouragement and confidence when none can be found, and they can stand by each other’s side. He advised graduates to stay close to friends throughout their lives.
“Cherish your friendships, stick together with one another and you will find success in life. This night, our graduation marks the end of our 12 year-long commitment with education and sets in motion our future,” he explained.
He offered luck to his peers and advised they choose a life best suited for who they are, not for what others think they should be. “May your future efforts be as fruitful as your high school career.”
Both valedictorians felt they would both be picked, Kim said later they are also close friends, “We helped each other in and out of school.”
Christopher was proud of both their accomplishments and he has known Kim since Grade 8. “He’s one of the hardest workers I have ever seen.”
Kim will attend the University of Alberta to study engineering, and Christopher intends to study at the University of Toronto to conduct artificial intelligence research.
By Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye