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Guest speaker says KCI graduating class is comprised of students who wish to serve

The group of students who make up the Kamsack Comprehensive Institute’s 2015 graduating class is all about servitude to others, said Wendy Shabatoski, the guest speaker at the graduation program.
KCI Grad June 29
Left: Wendy Shabatoski was the guest speaker at the KCI graduation program on June 29. Right: Wendy Shabatoski was the guest speaker at the KCI graduation program on June 29.

The group of students who make up the Kamsack Comprehensive Institute’s 2015 graduating class is all about servitude to others, said Wendy Shabatoski, the guest speaker at the graduation program.

“Wendy Shabatoski is an amazing, compassionate, and caring woman who has personally touched the lives of each of the graduates here today,” Hannah Werrell said in her
introduction to the guest speaker.

“She was born and raised on a farm south of Buchanan, and graduated from Canora Composite High School in 1992. Later on in her life, Mrs. Shab moved to Regina to work as a researcher for the provincial government. In 2008 she married Trevor Shabatoski and began a grain farm operation on his family farm. A year later her daughter Grace was born.

“Mrs. Shabatoski spent many of her years in university studying for a higher education. She earned a bachelor of arts in history degree, a bachelor of education degree, and she also worked towards a master of educational administration degree (and graduated) in 2010. In the fall of 2011 her son Nathaniel was born. The reason she named her son Nathaniel was because she watched many seasons of Gossip Girl throughout her pregnancy and could not decide on a name.

“As a grad class, we chose Wendy Shabatoski to be our guest speaker because fi rst of all, she is an amazing woman, she shows fantastic leadership to all her students, also she took her personal time to get to know her students even though she had work and young children.

“Wendy truly cares about her students, like we truly care about her. She always came into her classroom with a smile on her face when some of the times we were misbehaved and acted immature she probably secretly wanted to ring our necks.

“The way she teaches you can tell she really enjoys her job.

“Mrs. Shab engages her students with her lessons and makes her students want to learn by providing a nurturing environment where ever she goes. As some people would say she is ‘hella dope.’

“Grad 2015 also believes she ensures that we actually understand what is being taught and we all feel that we can go to Mrs. Shabatoski with any problems that we have personally, or academically. We can ask her questions even if they are stupid ones and she treats us kindly. And many grads loved her assignments we did in senior history.

“Thank you from all for helping us as a grad class achieve our dreams, and by providing us with knowledge that we will use for the rest of our lives,” Werrell said. “As the grad 2015 class, we appreciate everything you have done to help set up for grad. We love you.”

“I am so touched and honoured to be your guest speaker,” Shabatoski said. “We’ve been together for a long time through a wide variety of classes. I was lucky enough to see you grow up and often be part of the silly and humorous moments.

“We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon,” she said quoting the graduates’ theme. “I love that quote. It is so inclusive for your entire grade.

It recognizes that you have the same sky because you just happen to be in the same class at KCI but it shows that you are all so different.

Guest speaker says KCI graduating class is comprised of students who wish to serve Wendy Shabatoski was the guest speaker at the KCI graduation program on June 29.
Hannah Werrell  introduced the guest speaker.

“And as of tomorrow, you will each begin moving off to different horizons.

“Grade 12 groups tend to be remembered in some sort of generalized term: their close bond, being athletic, immature, or even (as) whiners. But your group is like no other. Each one of you has managed to realize the importance of fi ding balance in your life. You know to work on yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and then you will become strong. But what is also remarkable about your group is that as you become stronger, you use that strength to impact others.

“I don’t think you realize it but you are the group that is about servitude to others. You are selfl ess individuals. You lend a hand and make life easier for others. You are calm, determined, focused and it is second nature to focus on others. This is a remarkable quality that often takes years to build.

“The future professions you hope to go into are not about making money. They are about making the world a better place. Never have I seen a group that has had so much determination to go into public service: nurses, psychologists, councillors, teachers, and the military, etc. And those of you who are not going into professions in the public service you have the characteristic.

“Each one of you gravitates to a certain realm or area to achieve balance in your life. Through that balance you gain strength as an individual and through your strong sense of self, you work to positively impact others.” Shabatoski then spoke to each one of the graduates, highlighting each one’s personality or relationship to her.

“Through lots of our classes we’ve studied human behaviour and I really think that your positive attributes have rubbed off on each other and caused this snowball effect. You are amazing already at your young age and there is no doubt it will continue.

“Today is it. As I said in Life Transitions: it’s been a good run. I told you at the end of History 30 that you have had a tremendous impact on me as a teacher. You have allowed me to try new projects, to set the bar high and each time you were able to meet the challenge.

“What is unique about your group is that you waste very little of your time complaining. You work hard at fi guring out what needs to be done and how to use your natural talents to achieve success.

“This past awards night, you also showed your spirit by staying to clean up. You were busy visiting with each other, stacking chairs, picking up garbage. No one asked you to, but you recognized that a job needed to be done and you did it with smiles on your faces. Your parents should be so proud of each of you and your group.

“The world is a better place because of your grade. There is no doubt in my mind that as you progress through life your awareness of the needs of others will be there.

“Anne Frank said ‘No one has ever become poor by giving.’ You will continue to give. “Just remember, your parents and caregivers have done an amazing job raising you. You have a strong sense of self and you have positively impacted each other, your school, our community and even our world so far in your 18 years. That will be your legacy and it will continue to be. We are all so proud of you.”

Shabatoski ended with “a few lasting tips to remember:”“Surround yourself with positive people who will help you grow. Don’t waste your time watering the rocks. The rocks will work hard to pull you down, don’t allow that. “Don’t become overwhelmed if you feel like you don’t know what to do in life. That’s normal. Just get out there, get a job, meet people, try new things, travel and life will unfold the way it’s supposed to. If you fi nd yourself in your mom’s basement playing video games for more than two days, get out immediately! That’s like some weird vortex
that’s hard to get out of.

“When you have bumps in the road, look to your four realms: social, emotional, physical and mental to fi nd balance. Don’t look to drown your sorrows or try to cover them up with something else. You are stronger than letting something else control you.

“Keep in touch. Our relationship will be different now. But I will continue to watch your lives. I will continue to be proud of you and if you seem to be going through a period
of transition or uncertainty, I will be your biggest cheerleader.

I know what you are all made of and I know that you all have the strength to be amazing adults in our crazy world. “Have a nice, fun, safe night and life,” Shabatoski said. “Talk to each other tonight. Spend time laughing, crying and sharing. You are ready Class of 2015. We all believe in you.”