A graduation program honouring the 27 senior students of the Kamsack Comprehensive Institute was held June 29 under a mural proclaiming the theme: “We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.”
With Kaylie Bowes and Cassidy Aker as emcees, the event began with a program at 1 p.m., with Alanna Finnie leading the singing of O Canada. and it featured the graduates being introduced onto the stage as each one received his or her diploma from Tracy Forsythe, principal, Ryan Gareau, vice-principal, and Devin Klapatiuk.
Each of the students have had the opportunity, and his or her goals are to be determined by experience, Forsythe said in her message to the graduates and guests. “Your contributions to KCI are appreciated. We are proud of you and we can’t wait to see what you accomplish.
“You will be missed,” KCI graduation held in honour of 27 students she said. “Congratulations.”
Members of the staff presented scholarships amounting to a total of nearly $14,000 to the students. Jaelyn Dietz, who had an overall average of 96 per cent, was presented with the Town of Kamsack scholarship of $500; the Spartan President’s Award of $100; the Andrychuk Funeral Home Scholarship of $300; the Darren Larson Memorial Scholarship of $200; the Abercrombie Chemistry Scholarship of $800; the Yorkton Co-operative Association Jake Berg memorial Scholarship of $500; a Prairie Soil Services Scholarship of $500: the Affinity Credit Union Elwood Harvey
Co-operative Leadership Scholarship of $2,500, and the Affinity Credit Union Build a Better World Scholarship of $500.
Donald Weis received a Prairie Soil Services Scholarship of $500 and a Cas and Marie Broda and Family Scholarship of $333. Kaytlyn Placatka received the Good Spirit School Division Teachers’
Association Scholarship of $750; the KCI Spartan Spirit Award of $200; a Cas and Marie Broda and Family Scholarship of $333; the Ruth Cooper Memorial Scholarship of $500, the Access Communications Scholarship of $200, and the KCI Staff Scholarship of $200.
Morgan Fatteicher received the RM of Cote Scholarship of $250 and a Cas and Marie Broda and Family Scholarship of $333. Hanna Wosminity received the Good Spirit Teacher’s Association Scholarship of $750 and the Kamsack Knights of Columbus Scholarship of $250.
Hannah Werrell received the Kamsack Legion Scholarship of $500, the Leland Campbell Scholarship of $200 and was named the recipient of the Masonic Shield and Scholarship of $200.
Reuben Bugera received the Photography by Mitch Scholarship of $200.
Shianne Musqua received the SGI Canada Cottenie and Gardner Scholarship of $250.
Alexis Schwartz received the 70s Reunion Scholarship of $300.
Dustin Burback received the McMunn and Yates Building Supplies Scholarship of $200.
Chase Shingoose received the Tyson Werrell Memorial Scholarship of $200 from Andrea and Hannah Werrell.
Victoria Henderson received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Scholarship of $1,200.
Ryan Stanko announced that several students were the recipients of other scholarships from post-secondary institutes or from other sources. They were Hannah Werrell, Jaelyn Dietz, Kaytlyn Placatka Hanna Marie Wosminity and Kali Wyllychuk. Werrell and Dietz received entrance scholarships to the University of Saskatchewan.
Werrell received $500, and Dietz, $3,000, for having an overall average of over 95 per cent. Placatka and Wosminity received entrance scholarships of $2,000 each to the University of Regina.
Wyllychuk received the Ruth Kraling Bidwell Scholarship and the President’s Scholarship to Trinity Western University, totalling $7,200.
In addition, the Chernoff Scholarship of $3,300 and the GSSD Scholarship of $400 will be awarded in the autumn after the students’ final marks are known.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall Scholarship of $500, which is awarded to a Grade 11 student to assist with his or her education in Grade 12, was presented to Jacquelline Villeneuve.
Tributes and replies
Ryan Gareau read a letter from the Minister of Education and then Kaytlyn Placatka paid tribute to the Good Spirit School Division. “Good spirit can be defined as genuine, optimistic, and enthusiastic. The Good Spirit School Division is just that,” Placatka said. “Today we are here to celebrate this milestone with all of you, but none of this would be possible without the division.
“Our educational system is what has gotten us here, and acknowledging that is extremely important,” she said. “As students we often fail to see all the planning and work that goes into creating
a good, solid education; but we know everyone has done their jobs, because we are graduating.
“The Good Spirit School Division is the working force that keeps students fully engaged in a learning environment. The (board) employs our teaching staff, provides funds, and examines new learning strategies to provide us with an even better education. Without (the board) we would not have the same privileges we do today, no textbooks, no bus drivers, no extracurricular
activities, or any school trips that leave lasting memories with our peers.
“Thanks to it we were able to grow up together, learn together, and work together to build a better future; one of its mottos. “(The board is) responsible for many great programs, the education we have received, and what future students will receive.
The Good Spirit School Division deserves a huge round of applause for all they have accomplished, and for truly making students come first,” Placatka said.
Bryan Cottenie of Kamsack replied. Rylan Cote, a member of Cote First Nation, gave thanks to First Nations communities. “Without your support guidance and encouragement we would not be who
we are today,” Cote said.
“We are proud to stand before you and remember our culture and who we are as First Nations people. “As a community we can be an inspiration for each other and we can have the vision to make a better future together,” he said.
“Thank you.” Wesley Bear of Ochapowace First Nation replied.
Morgan Fatteicher paid tribute to the teachers and AnnaLee Parnetta replied.
“I am extremely honoured to provide the reply on behalf of all the teachers you have encountered throughout your elementary and secondary education,”
Parnetta said before quoting Henry Brooks who said: “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his infl uence stops.” “What a wonderful quote on the important influence we as educators have on our students and their future,”
Parnetta said. “But as a teacher I can say that the influence goes both ways. Last week I’m pretty sure that I was like all of your former teachers. I was staring
at the centre page of the Kamsack Times in disbelief that time has gone so fast.
It has been 13 years and here we are. When I looked at each one of your beautiful and handsome cap-andgown pictures a flood of memories came back for myself as I remember when many of you began your school career.
“Your Kindergarten teachers were probably thinking of how little and nervous you were as you first entered into your schooling experience, your backpacks almost bigger than your bodies! Your elementary teachers were probably reflecting on the fun, excitement for learning and discovering that each of your twinkling eyes held. They probably thought about the growth that they saw as you went from the little ones in Kindergarten to the Grade 4 students and leaders of the elementary school.
“As you entered Grade 5, I also thought of your nervousness, as most of your parents accompanied you into the ‘big’ school. I saw you grow more comfortable throughout the years and your confidence grew along with your communication, organization and leadership qualities began to show.
“Your middle years’ teachers probably looked at your grad pictures and were smiling realizing how well you all grew out of the awkward stage of middle years. Oh the joys of silly
pranks, pushing the limits and figuring out who you were as a teenager.
Today, there are defintely no remnants of that…right?
“By the time your high school teachers met you, all the teaching and guidance from your past had started to mould the young adults that you are today. As you entered high school, the maturity and understanding of hard work, deadlines, confidence, and humour have all been developed and have created memories for your teachers not just yourselves.
“Each teacher you have encountered from Kindergarten to Grade 12 has given you a tool, a story, a hint, a method to make your adult life easier.
“Change is a big thing to take on and accept. It is not easy to change and leave the routines of your school days where a timetable is handed to you in September.
Today is the end of the 9 to 3:30 schedule. It is up to you to set your own timetables; and yes you are ready even if you don’t think you are. You may not remember the exact details of each of the lessons that each teacher has taught you but many of the lessons are a part of you: show up on time, work to your full potential, have a sense of humour, care about others and be knowledgeable of
the world around you.
“As you enter the work force or post-secondary you will continue to learn and embrace each lesson,” Parnetta said. “All your past teachers and I will be keeping an eye on you.
“Never be afraid of the future; embrace change, come visit us at school, and yes, we will be watching to see how wonderful your lives become.”
Tribute to parents
Reuben Bugera paid tribute to the parents. “Somehow, for some unknown reason, despite the many fights, the tremendous amount of grief and trouble we have put you through, and despite
all the grey hair we have given you, you still love and care for us, like no others in the world,” Bugera said. “This is truly amazing, and we can never thank you enough for all the love and support you’ve given us over the years.
“You have been our role models, life coaches, and heroes,” he said. “You’ve taught us everything from right and wrong to left and right. You’ve been there from the start of our lives, watched us grow up, and are now guiding us to take the last steps to finish a great section of our lives. And I am here to say:
“Thank you for everything from the lunches you made, to the wake up calls in the mornings. Thank you for the life advice and life lessons. Thank you for the home you gave us to grow up in, and thank you, most importantly, for the unconditional love you have given us that has made us into who we are today.
“And I mean truly unconditional.
“My father passed away five years ago. Although he can’t be here to watch me graduate, I know that he would be extremely proud of who I have become and who I have yet to be. Het aught me patience, acceptance, and taught me to always count my blessings.
“Even though he isn’t here with us, he is still a huge influence in my life, and I know that he will be for the rest of my life. I am thankful for every day I had to spend with him, and I am thankful for every day I still get to spend with my mother. She has been the rock that has kept our family together, and I know that whenever I need support, advice and guidance, she is never too far away.
“And that is a testament to a parent’s love: even when you’re not with us, you’re still with us. The love you have given us over the years runs so deep, that it will never break, and never diminish, no matter what.
“Thank you again, parents, for all of the support, encouragement, wisdom, and love that you have given us over the years,” Bugera said.
His mother, Deb Mandzuk replied.
“I would like to begin by saying thank you to severalpeople who have made the journey thus far through life the incredible adventure that it has been,” Jaelyn Dietz said in her valedictory address.
"Firstly, to our teachers who have amazingly put up with us and kept us in line all the way from preschool to graduation day; secondly, to our parents, guardians, and loved ones,
a group of first rate people that have dealt with our adolescent mischief and shenanigans for 18 very long years, and finally, to my fellow graduates for trusting me with the honour of speaking on their behalf.
“It feels as though high school has been a journey and half for us,” she said. “We began our years here at KCI as small, innocent 10-year-olds, fresh from Victoria School and ready for anything the ‘big school’ teachers could throw at us. And, as we have learned during these past few weeks of multiple essays, projects and fi nals, these teachers actually can throw pretty hard.
“Though we have had our many ups and downs, I have to say that we have also had many moments where we have pulled together as a class. For one thing, we knew and accepted one another through grades 6 to 8, despite what we each looked like. And for those who don’t know exactly what I am referring to, those long years were the peak of frizzy hair, gangly limbs, and acne that you probably will not be seeing pictures of in the slide show later today.
“Next, we grew closer as a class in Grade 9 when we realized that if we all worked together, we could easily distract Mrs. (Joanne) Schwartz with conversations about relationships, partying, and her
“And let’s not forget when we all, as unsuspecting and ignorant Grade 10 math students, shared equal feelings of surprise and fear from hearing Mr. (Dave) Placatka yell ‘soh cah toa’ at the top of his lungs. And finally, that one day we almost died in Chemistry 20, when a beaker with the wrong concentrations of chemicals exploded, showering us with glass and starting the ceiling on fi re.
“This chapter of our lives together is coming to a close. We are now beginning a new journey that will take us each in different directions. Whether that direction is university or a
new job, the responsibility for your success in life now rests on you.
“As you move on from here, just remember that ‘If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you’ll fi nd an excuse.’
“High school and our time together have come to an end. I hope that in the future, you never forget who you are or where your roots are,” Dietz said. “I hope you live your life in style and become anything you desire to be.
“I wish you all the best in life and I would like to leave you with one finalpiece of advice: ‘Don’t do anything stupid. But, if and when you do something stupid, don’t post pictures about it on Facebook.’”
Hannah Werrell introduced Wendy Shabatoski asthe guest speaker. Following the program, the graduates were asked to return to the KCI for a formal dress photo. Dinner was served at the OCC Hall at 6 p.m., and the grand march and PowerPoint presentation were held at the KCI gymnasium beginning at 8 p.m.