Ponoka Secondary Campus celebrated their grads at a commencement ceremony at the Ponoka Curling Rink on June 3.
This year’s grad quote was “Long Live Life” and the class of 2023 chose Viva La Vida by Coldplay as their song.
The ceremony started off with an honour song before the singing of O Canada, followed by a Treaty 6 acknowledgement.
Welcome remarks to the grad class were given by principal Cody Baird and then awards were handed out.
The first-ever Aslan Jaipaul memorial scholarship was awarded to grad Ryland Mendoza.
Presented by Ravi and Sabina Jaipaul who lost their son a year ago, they said the award is to be given to a student who has overcome significant obstacles and shows an enthusiasm for learning.
Upon the retirement of Karen David, an award was renamed in her honour. The Karen David Award, for a student who displays a dedicated worth ethic, was given to Emily McMillan.
Another special award, the PSC Principal’s Award, was given to Jakub Palechek.
Valedictorian Brayden Lubach then addressed his fellow graduates, saying he was humbled and honoured to do so.
During his three years of high school, his parents often had to tell him to take a break from studying — which is no wonder, given his nearly 99 per cent average.
Lubach recognized the support of parents and teachers that always encouraged the students to do their best and work hard, while nurturing their dreams.
The efforts of dedicated teachers, even when some students were “more difficult that others undoubtedly made a difference,” he said.
While the class had to overcome adversity, including COVID and online learning, and sometimes just parking between the lines in the school parking lot, it showed them they are “capable of great things.”
Lubach told the grads to pursue their passions relentlessly.
“Class of 2023, our time to shine is right now.”