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Graduates vow to leave a trail

"Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." This was advice to, a challenge for and the theme of the Maidstone High School's graduation class of 2012.
Maidstone High School class of 2012: Stephan Elliot, Quinn Flegel, Zacharie Fendelet, Jacob Findlay, Josh Hult, Austin McLaren, Caela Marynowsi, Dezirae Tootoosis, Sarah Baldwin, Evan Winterhalt, Greg Peterson, Katelynn Robb, Laurel Donald, Keyara Newsted, Beth Nerbas, Ali Franks, Lacey Jurke, Astrid Nyame, Dano Blackmer, Tara Perrin and Jessie Fahrenschon.

"Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

This was advice to, a challenge for and the theme of the Maidstone High School's graduation class of 2012.

The banquet and ceremonies were held at the Maidstone Arena Saturday in a slightly new format than in previous years.

Graduates, families, staff and special guests gathered for a meal with toasts and speeches to celebrate the accomplishments of all involved in the journey the young people have taken so far.

This year there were 22 grads including the first two to come out of the Maidstone Transition Place Education Centre. The exercises followed the supper and included tributes to the boys and the girls, a slide show, speeches and awards.

"It's a challenging world out there but I have faith that every one of you will create a trail that will lead to the most important element of life-happiness. Don't be afraid to strike out! I can assure you, you probably will but that doesn't mean you won't be successful, so strive for those unreachable dreams," said valedictorian Astrid Nyame in her address.

"Who knows? Maybe you have a longer reach than you give yourself credit for. Leave here with a swagger in your step and don't forget where your story began."

She apologized to the teachers on behalf of her class, expressed gratitude to the teachers and described the class as "strange but different" when she met them and "still strange and still very different."

Principal Brennan Becotte spoke of choices and opportunities and the support of family and the community.

"Nothing is easy and nothing comes for free," he said.

"Grads, the world is your canvas. You get to choose the type of picture you want. Remember though, nobody gets it right the first time. If it takes you multiple times to paint the right picture, oh well, so long as you are learning, reflecting, listening and making different choices."

Awards were presented to students who earned high marks, demonstrated involvement and leadership in the community and excelled in athletic activities.

Beth Nerbas received the Jack Bullock Bursary, a Jim Mitchell Scholarship, the School Community Council Bursary and the first place Allan Craig Scholarship for an essay in Canadian political science and a Chick Kennedy Award.

Lacey Jurke earned the Maidstone and District Agricultural Society Scholarship, the Swift Custom Spraying Agricultural Bursary, the third place Allan Craig Scholarship and a Chick Kennedy Award.

Ali Franks took the Access Cable Communications Scholarship, a Jim Mitchell Scholarship and the MHS SADD Bursary.

Laurel Donald was awarded the Royal Canadian Legion Auxiliary Maidstone Chapter Bursary and the Maidstone Oilmen's Golf Association Bursary.

Sarah Baldwin received the Eidsness Scholarship and the fifth place Allan Craig Scholarship.

Astrid Nyame walked away with the Synergy Credit Union Bursary and a Chick Kennedy Award.

The Tracy Taylor Memorial Bursary was awarded to Dano Blackmer, who also received a Chick Kennedy Award.

Caela Marynowski was awarded the MHS Staff School Scholarship and the Sandy Snell Memorial Bursary was presented to Keyara Newsted.

Other awards including the Governor General Medal will be presented at a later date.

It was a time to celebrate and reflect as member of the class of 2012 blaze their own trails into their futures.