Celebrating achievements, honouring cherished memories and dreaming about the future made Maidstone's 2010 Graduation Colour Night an emotional and memorable event for all.
This year the class of 24 students chose "The Future Belongs to Those Who Believe in Their Dreams" as their theme.
Before the ceremony the graduates showed off their elegant attire as they visited the residents Pine Island Lodge and enjoyed a banquet with family and friends.
The slide show featured pictures of each grad at various stages of life and videotaped memories shared by classmates.
Solomon Nyame was selected as valedictorian.
"Our years at Maidstone High School have prepared us for our future. Whether we plan to go on with our education or not, we have all benefitted from our time here. We are very grateful to those who have been part of our lives and have helped us reach this point, whether it be at home, in school or in our community," he said.
"Today symbolizes us stepping out into the world. Graduation is not an end. It's a new beginning. I urge you to dream big and to go out there and make your dreams come true," said Nyame.
The members of the class of 2010 have many aspirations including nursing, heavy duty mechanics, welding, lab and x-ray technician, engineering, arts and sciences, professional cooking, commerce, education, veterinary technician, agricultural management, digital design, instrumentation, missionary studies and working before deciding on further education. Programs of studies will take the students to SIAST, the U of S and the U of R, Olds College, Lakeland College, Grande Prairie College and Horizon College.
Scholarships and bursaries recognized achievement in academics, athletics and community service. Chandler Wall received the Access Cable Communications Scholarship, the School Community Council Bursary, the Sandy Snell Memorial Bursary, and the Battle River Athletic Associations Chick Kennedy Award for the Outstanding Female Athlete.
Lisa Wright won the Maidstone Oilman's Golf Association Bursary, the MHS Staff Scholarship as well as one of the Allen Craig Bursaries for a political studies essay.
Megan Blanchette was awarded the MHS SADD Bursary, a Jim Mitchell Bursary and the Synergy Credit Union Bursary.
Brenna Banks received the Royal Canadian Legion Auxiliary Scholarship and an Allen Craig Bursary for her political studies essay.
Jillian Jamieson won the Eidsness Scholarship. Nick Lundquist was presented with the other Jim Mitchell Bursary.
Anita Peterson received the Tracy Taylor Memorial Bursary.
Cougen Pegg was presented with the Maidstone and District Agricultural Society Scholarship.
Carol Ann Caplin was the recipient of a special one year bursary, the Ed Leonard Memorial Bursary created by teachers and parents of students of the class of 2010 in memory of a member of the class who passed away in 2006. The award didn't take into consideration scholastic or athletic achievement, rather the ability to maintain strength of character and the will to persevere through success and setback while contributing to the school.
Graduates celebrated friendships, shared humourous traits and memories and took the time to pay special tribute to two people they would have liked to have shared the evening with, beloved staff member Sandy Snell and classmate Ed Leonard.
"Throughout our lives, many people have impacted and changed us. Mrs. Snell and Ed were two extraordinary people, who are now remembered by the memories they left behind," said Chandler Wall during a heartfelt remembrance.
"Ed's presence in our lives gave us valuable life lessons. He taught the class the power of kindness and the strength of words," said Wall.
"People like Mrs. Snell are very rare to come across. She was a very little person, but made a huge impact on everyone who knew her. Mrs. Snell had a huge heart, and her absence has left an incredible hole," said Brenna Banks.
The class has known loss and joy together and is looking forward with a knowledge of the fragile nature of life as they step into the future.
In his principal's address Brennan Becotte asked, "Where has the time gone?"
It's now up to the class of 2010 to decide where it goes from here.