COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN
Some of the new Vincent Massey graduates attend the ceremony.
Vincent Massey High School’s student council president got some laughs during his graduation ceremony on Monday.
Parents smile and wave from the audience during Vincent Massey High School’s graduation ceremony at Westman Place on Monday. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
Erika Acero Lopez (left) and Kelly Abad head the lineup of graduates into Westman Place for Vincent Massey High School’s graduation ceremony on Monday. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
Graduates head into the ceremony. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
"Alec hopes to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," counsellor Susan Gilleshammer read from the card introducing Alec Chambers, who grinned as he strode to the centre of the stage to receive his diploma.
"He would like to thank Neil Patrick Harris and Emma Stone for supporting him in this endeavour," Gilleshammer continued. "In the future, Alec hopes to be Justin Timberlake."
Chambers was not the only graduate to reference Harry Potter when receiving his or her diploma.
Shaylene Farnell’s card said, "Master has given Shay a diploma, Shay is free."
Farnell and Chambers were two of 180 new Vincent Massey graduates at the ceremony in Westman Place.
If the owl does not come with his acceptance letter to Hogwarts, Chambers plans to study film at the University of Manitoba.
"I am an arts kid and Justin Timberlake is a role model," he said. "I like to sing and dance and have fun, which is exactly what he does when he performs."
In all seriousness, Chambers said he enjoyed his high school experience.
"Being student council president taught me a lot and helped me to mature," he said. "I really need to thank all four of our student council advisers. We could not have made it to today without their help."
The staff and students are what made high school the best four years of his life so far, Chambers said.
Fellow graduate Brett Skibo agreed that the people at Vincent Massey really made the experience more fun.
"Our class got very close, especially in Grade 12 — we are a very tight-knit group," he said. "It is very exciting to be graduating with so many great people."
Skibo received the Westman Communities Foundation Exceptional Achievement Citation Award and Bursary, one of more than 50 awards and scholarships presented during the ceremony.
The final award to be presented was the Governor General’s Bronze Medal for the student with the highest combined average.
Students clapped loudly as Crhistian Chavez received the award with a cumulative average of 95.7 per cent.
"These students really made high school that much better," Chambers said. "Graduating is bittersweet because we are excited, but we will miss it, too."
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 24, 2014