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Weyburn Comp principal urges grads to be high-flying eagles

The 2023 graduates of Weyburn Comprehensive School were urged be like eagles, as principal Ryan Fowler gave his final grad address.

WEYBURN – The 2023 graduates of Weyburn Comprehensive School were urged be like eagles, like the school’s mascot, and stretch their wings as they take flight and leave their nests of home and school, as principal Ryan Fowler gave his final grad address.

He related a story he heard while coaching the weightlifting team at the Sask. Winter Games this past February, where at the opening ceremonies a First Nations hoop dancer, Terence Littletent, performed a hoop dance and told of an eagle’s life, showing its growth from eaglet to a full-grown eagle.

“He treated the athletes to an unbelievable hoop dance, as he gave a full grown image of an eagle,” said Fowler. “As I sat and listened to his story, I was immediately drawn into the story of the dance and the imagery, and the symbolic nature of what he was doing on the stage.”

He noted that Littletent added hoops one at a time until he had 17 hoops, as the image of the eagle grew and changed shape, representing a growth stage of the eagle. He said the teachings say it takes 17 weeks for an eagle to go from birth until it is ready to leave the nest, and it pays tribute to its parents by circling the nest 17 times before leaving and making its way in the world.

“As it circles, it’s thanking its parents for raising it,” he added.

Fowler noted that the grads sitting before have lived about 17 years and are about to embark on a new life out of their nest-home, so in a way they are about to make the 17th and last circle before leaving, and they should think about who they should thank for helping them reach this point.

“Graduates, each of you has a different story to tell of the last 17 years of your lives, and all of your nests look different,” he said, urging the grads to take this story with them and thank those who have helped them over the last 17 years.

“Some of those people you need to thank are sitting beside you or across from you. Others you need to thank are those that brought you here, and you need to thank them, while others you need to thank have gone on ahead of you,” said Fowler. “So too shall you all build your own nest. I challenge you to build your nest with love, kindness, humility, grace, strength, truth, health, family, respect and responsibility.”

Continuing the metaphor of the nest, Fowler said there will be times when they will need to repair their nests, and they should allow others to help them make those repairs and get them back up into the air.

“I also challenge you to help others as they build their nest when they’re broken, to be a support to those whose nest is sideways,” he said. “Be the one people can rely on to repair nests in the most gracious of ways. You’re all eagles, and you’re all circling your nests, and we’re drawing near to that 17th time of circling around. Be thankful, be courteous, and be loving and kind.”

He added that when this happens, all of them will be high-flying eagles.