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F. G. Miller High in Elk Point celebrates the Class of 2024

“What an amazing accomplishment!” master of ceremonies Jonathan Randall told the 31-member Class of 2024 who filled the stands at F. G. Miller High School in Elk Point.

ELK POINT – “What an amazing accomplishment!” master of ceremonies Jonathan Randall told the 31-member Class of 2024 who filled the stands at F. G. Miller High School, Elk Point after entering the gymnasium to their individual choices of music. “You should all be very proud.”

Brooklyn deVries and Konnor Poitras led the signing of O Canada, before Nicholas Penner came forward with the students’ message to the parents.

“As we’re opening a new chapter, we can’t thank you enough for all you taught us. You not only parented your own kids, but took responsibility for the others.”

“All of us who had a part in raising you wish you good luck for the future,” Melissa Rogal answered on behalf of the parents. “You are all on a even playing field for being kind, not giving up and working hard, and we will always be here for you, you can always come home.”

Konnor Poitras gave the students’ message to the teachers, assuring them, “All your hard work has not gone unnoticed. You were not only our teachers, you were our mentors and role models, you instilled in us the skills we will need to succeed, you recognized our strengths and you taught us life lessons that will stay with us forever and we are profoundly grateful.” Poitras gave special acknowledgement to teachers Kelly Burke and Murray Boratynec, who will retire at the end of the school year, thanking them “for all you taught us, we can’t thank you enough fro your wisdom.”

Randall replied on behalf of the teachers, congratulating the class on their “great work ethics and resilience. You will be contributing members of society. If you do something that makes you happy to wake up in the morning, you will have achieved success.” He added that the class developed relationships and grew intellectually, which will be essential in their success. “Remember that learning is a lifelong process, and today is only a beginning. Never stop learning, keep your curiosity alive   and remember that failure is fertilizer for growth. Set ambitious goals and remember your roots.”

As the school’s sports director, Randall felt it was “great working with you, it’s a big commitment to be part of the athletics program.” The senior girls had a spectacular year with three major wins and the senior boys won a championship the school has been working toward since 2015. Marcel Jenkins and Casey Warawa stepped in to help coach the junior team to success, and were among the 11 students involved in five or more sports during the year.

Cousins Casey and Rylee Warawa then carried out the second part of a task they took on at last year’s graduation ceremonies, presenting the ceremonial Crusader sword to Kaleb Flamand and Calei Penner to continue the longstanding FGM tradition.

Although he claimed to have “written it at the last minute,” valedictorian Casey Warawa entertained the audience with his message, noting that “responsible, punctual and diligent are not words I would use” to describe his class, and suggesting “there might have been something in the water” back in 2006 when he and his classmates were born. He hinted at memories from “hiding under the stairs… to forgetting the sugar in the sugar cookies” but acknowledged, “What you learn in school is important. Most of these are people we grew up with. It’s a long time since we jumped for joy the day of our Kindergarten grad, and now we’ve reached the real last day of school. We’re grown up, intelligent and somewhat mature individuals.”

Principal Colin Bjorkman came forward to present the diplomas as Randall added information about each grad and added recognition for their late classmate Zxayven Pelech, who passed away in 2021.

When all the grads had returned to the stands, Bjorkman took time to respond to the valedictory address, after first acknowledging that the grads had “warmed this cold heart by your choices of 1980s rock” for their processional songs. To the valedictorian, who formulated this year’s theme, ‘Let’s see where y+mx+b takes us”, he said, “you made all us math teachers proud and confused the parents. There are no numbers in it, and it is the generic equation of a line, a metaphor for all of the grads. With all your wisdom, you can navigate that line. Thank you for being so awesome.”

A ‘Kodak moment,’ the Class of 2024 slide show and the tossing of caps ensured before the class left the building in their triumphant recessional.

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