TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Students toss their caps in the air at the end of the Elton Collegiate graduation ceremony at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium on Friday afternoon.
Riley Morningstar described her fellow graduates as "crazy, but a whole lot of fun" before Elton Collegiate’s graduation ceremony at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium on Friday afternoon.
Bjorn Klockmann makes some adjustments to his suit in a mirror backstage as Elton Collegiate graduates prepare to parade for the crowd at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Valedictorian Dorian Lawson delivers his address during Elton Collegiate's graduation ceremony on Friday. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
"We are a tight-knit group because it has always just been us," Morningstar said. "I am a little nervous for the future because I am used to being around people that I have known for a long time."
Morningstar will be going to the University of Manitoba to study sciences in the fall. She said she is both nervous and excited to make the move.
These feelings were expressed by many of the 37 graduates before the ceremony began.
"I have no idea what I will take in university, but I am going to take a year to figure that out," said valedictorian Dorian Lawson. "My life’s an open book."
Graduating with a smaller than average class for Elton, Lawson said the group was able to get through challenges and persevered to the end together.
"I would describe them all as strong," he said. "Despite circumstances we have never quit and I think that is something that will help us all in our futures."
The valedictory address took some time for Lawson to "hammer out." His advice to the graduates was to stay positive no matter what life puts in front of you.
"Don’t let yourself or anyone else get in the way of what you want," Lawson said.
Principal Glen McNabb became principal at Elton at the same time these graduates started Grade 9.
McNabb spoke to the graduates about what they could learn from his favourite hockey player Bobby Orr.
"Whatever game you go onto play, take risks and don’t be afraid to change the rules," he said.
In addition to wishing farewell to the graduates, Elton Collegiate staff are also saying goodbye to longtime school secretary Maureen Miller.
"Over the years, Mrs. Miller has really become the heart of the school and it will not be the same without her," said teacher Lisa Vasconcelos, who was also master of ceremonies. "I would say the same to Mrs. Miller and the graduates, look out, world, here you come."
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 21, 2014