St. Thomas Aquinas assistant superintendent Laurie Kardynal told the 2022 graduating class during their commencement ceremony June 3 that “follow your bliss” was a watered down expression and perhaps not the best advice.
Instead, she suggested the graduates follow their blisters — meaning to work hard and to persevere to achieve their goals.
If you love something enough to repeat it over and over again, you will develop blisters, whether they are emotional, physical or spiritual, she said.
“God loves all of you on your journey forward and have a wonderful graduation day,” said Kardynal in conclusion.
Ponoka trustee Marilyn Burke said she was proud of the class’s many achievements, including competing at Alberta Skills and their production of The Great Gatsby.
“I think these young men and women deserve our applause on what they have accomplished so far,” she said, adding she was sure the grads would continue to make them proud.
Coun. Ted Dillon said that while the grads had big dreams that may take them far from their hometown, that they’d always be welcomed back with open arms.
Ramona Washburn explained the significance of receiving an eagle feather and a Metis sash before presenting each to the Indigenous graduates.
Guest speaker Justin Florean said his journeys with the grads started over a decade ago. He recalled their progression as athletes and students, but said in all instances, their light shone through their personalities and in their passion and caring for each other.
Liam Lougheed, Kennedy Gillis and Alexander Sinclair gave a reply to Florean.
This year’s valedictorian was Emitt York.
“It’s now that we need to step up, reach deep and realize that nobody other than ourselves can tell us what to do, how to do it or who to be,” said York. “It’s important to figure out what truly matters. How can we make ourselves, our communities (and) the world even better?”
The last of the speakers was principal Kari Davidson.
The grads were presented with Bibles and finally, their scrolls.