“They are a resilient, passionate bunch that have really pushed each other to be where they are today, so we’re super proud of them for that, especially considering the last few years.”
Those are the words of Vice Principal of Ste. Anne Collegiate Matthew Nikkel as he describes the sixty-plus students in the 2022 graduating class.
Nikkel continues and says there has been an increased sense of excitement and anticipation leading up to grad. “There is a life in the building that we haven’t had in over two years. There’s a real good vibe around here.”
Describing the grade 12 students Nikkel says “They're fairly well rounded, that said, this class is actually one of our strongest academic groups in quite a few years, it's a really strong group. The whole bunch of them have set high standards for themselves and they have really pushed each other.” Nikkel says the collegiate teachers agree that despite these years of Covid, this is one of the strongest academic classes they’ve had.
“Even COVID aside, it was a bit of a crazy year, but they were resilient, a word that keeps coming up. Every teacher that I talked to about this group says, it doesn't matter what's been thrown at them. They’ve not only survived, but they've actually thrived through this all, so it's pretty amazing.”
Jaylynne Verrier is the class valedictorian chosen by the collegiate staff through a try-out method. After presenting a speech she had written to the staff, Nikkel says they chose Verrier to represent the grade 12’s because, “She's a strong athlete, strong student, she motivates others and is just a positive light on this whole school. Such a fantastic young lady.” Then he adds that Verrier is also a fantastic baseball player, “so I'm sure she will do us proud over at U of R in the Fall, so that's awesome.”
Meanwhile, Verrier says, “I've always wanted to be valedictorian because I feel like I can represent them very well.”
And what would the Class of 2022 Valedictorian say to her fellow graduates?
“The one thing that I really wanted to say to the grads is that I want them to do something that makes them happy. I don't want them to be stuck with 9 to 5 jobs that they don't like and then just be miserable. I just want them to do something that they like, even if it's not being top doctors, just whatever makes them happy.”
Then speaking to the teachers and staff at Ste. Anne Collegiate she says, “They have been a huge help, especially like, staying in contact during online learning. They were fantastic and they helped us as mentors or even friends, like they were amazing staff.”
And to the graduates of 2022, Nikkel says, “I feel like our future is in such good hands because these guys managed to get through these few years and come out of it thriving through about the most difficult circumstances you can imagine, and they've come out of it so strong that I am so looking forward to the world that these kids are going to shape in the years to come. They're a special group and I'm so excited to see what they do.”
The graduation ceremony and celebrations took place on Friday, June 24 in Ste. Anne.