With the striking and stirring sounds of a bagpipe radiating through St. Paul’s Bloor Street, 109 Graduating Year (GY) students proudly waved at family and friends as they took their seats at this spring’s graduation ceremony.
Principal Karen Jurjevich welcomed everyone to the much-loved event celebrating the accomplishments of Grade 12 students as they graduate from Branksome and begin their post-secondary careers. Awards, prizes and medals were presented, Advisors acknowledged each of their students, 10 graduates were honoured for attending Branksome since Kindergarten and the valedictorian gave her address.
This year, Eve was selected as valedictorian by her classmates. “Eve won the hearts and respect of her peers to become today’s valedictorian because of the way she steps into each new challenge: with curiosity, intellect and equanimity,” said Ms Jurjevich.
Eve delivered a thoughtful address to her peers, with themes of thanks, unity and friendship. “GYs, today is our day of celebration, and while we’re the ones being celebrated, it’s not right for us to take all the credit,” began Eve. “We wouldn’t be here as the Graduating Year had it not been for all the members of the community who have repeatedly stepped back from their own lives to be our cheerleaders.”
“Thank you to all our teachers. You make the classroom a lively and wonderful place to return to each day. Your passion for learning inspires us, and with it, you create environments in which we can ask questions and seek knowledge, simply for the sake of curiosity. Thank you for your patience and support,” said Eve.
Eve also thanked all the parents and families. “Thank you for valuing education and making the emotional and economic commitments that come with attending this school. We are so fortunate to have had the opportunities we’ve had and we’re only here today because of you.”
Eve started at Branksome in Grade 8 and felt the bond of her grade grow stronger each year, especially in the final year. “We came together this year and I’ve learned to rely on the power of female friendships,” said Eve. “We have uplifted each other to see our value, emboldened each other to pursue our passions and loved each other for who we are.”
“It was a year of challenge and also a year of growth; a year of intensity and also one of gratitude. We’ve learned that when you are able to rely on the women around you, everything else becomes more manageable and more joyful,” concluded Eve.
We congratulate all of our graduates as they venture beyond our halls to shape a better world.