There was no shortage of school pride at École secondaire Neelin High School’s graduation ceremony on Tuesday.
"As Spartans, we always had team spirit," valedictorian Ellen Lamont said. "Filling up fan buses for away games and sitting in the cold to watch football, there was always a sea of green."
More than 100 students graduated from Neelin this year, one of the largest graduating classes in recent years. The class of 2014 is also one of the strongest academically, principal Michael Adamski said.
"The past four years have gone by in the blink of an eye," Adamski said. "I am proud of the confident, well-spoken and mature individuals you have become."
These are not quite the same words the graduates would use to describe their class. Neelin volleyball player Alison Quiring said to understand this class, look no further than the song they walked out of graduation to.
"We chose the ‘Imperial March’ as our grad song," Quiring said. "I think it is fitting because we are a little weird, but fun."
Quiring has received a scholarship to play volleyball at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C. She is nervous to be moving so far away and said she will miss seeing everyone every day.
Quiring and fellow graduate Riley Coey said that they are impressed by how accepting everyone at Neelin is.
"Even though we are crazy and random and weird, it just works and no one questions it," Coey said.
Coey plans to take sciences at Brandon University to eventually become a midwife.
She described her experience at Neelin as well-rounded, fun and challenging.
Lamont credits this to the diversity of options at Neelin.
"Neelin creates well-rounded kids, because being a Spartan meant being involved," she said.
Their principal reminds them of being a Neelin Spartan in almost every speech he makes, and graduation was no exception.
Addressing the graduates near the start of the ceremony at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium, Adamski asked if they remembered the first speech he gave them as Grade 9 students.
"I said hello to graduating class of 2014, and I am very proud to stand in front of you again now that this day is here," Adamski said. "I want to tell you one last time to remember: Once from Neelin, always from Neelin."
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