Good afternoon graduands, honoured guests, parents, ladies and gentleman. It is indeed my pleasure to be here today delivering the principal’s message, which recognizes the significance of you, the graduands, reaching this great milestone in a journey that will start the rest of your lives. Thank you all for coming to our 2016 Graduation ceremony. Seeing the graduates, the parents, family, friends and staff here today is a testament to the achievements of our graduates.
This year our graduating class chose as their grad theme “We’ve Only Begun”. I would like you to think about what this really means. It could mean many different things to each of us depending on how you interpret the essence of each of these words. It could mean that you are ending a chapter in one part of your life and beginning another chapter soon after graduating. It could also mean that you are beginning on a road that may lead to a world of work, higher education or travelling. However you choose to interpret these three, simple words, the end result is deciding how you want to move forward with the next phase of your life.
Today is a celebration of all the good things about our students, our teachers, our school and our families. It is a culmination of the efforts and hard work of everyone that has contributed to you being a part of this graduating class today. Every graduate here today has worked very hard to make the best of themselves. You have grown as people and individuals into well-rounded young adults. Also, your teachers have had the opportunity to watch your educational growth and maturation and have supported you with everything you did, whether it was through the athletics, fine arts or academics.
You have persevered and worked towards your individual goals in many different and determined ways. You have arrived here at graduation, a skilled and valuable group of graduates; all ready to tackle your next set of challenges. You are all a credit to yourselves, our school and your community.
It is wonderful to look out here today and to feel and see the excitement that comes on graduation day. Seeing balanced individuals such as yourselves is really encouraging for the future. I am excited for each of you. Each of you have the potential and capacity to be all that you want to be. I urge you to take a moment and to be sure you always put forth your best effort, attitude, talent and time into whichever path of life you choose. Remember, “you’ve only begun”.
The future holds many challenges and successes for all of you. Each of you will have your own unique opportunities. I am confident you will rise to every occasion. The future is an amazing place. We are now living in a fast paced world where you will only be as good as you want to be. The future is where you will spend most of your lives. You will experience the enormous joy in creating your own life and enjoying the benefits of it. Of course there will be challenges ahead but when you are determined to succeed you will handle anything that gets in your way. The real power of creating and being responsible for your own future is unlimited. From now on you decide the post secondary courses you take, the lectures you will attend, how hard you study, your career, your partner and the place you will call home.
There is a saying “Wherever you go, go with all your heart”. I encourage all of you to do that and I am sure that you will do that. I hope you create a future that you are completely passionate about, as you all certainly deserve it. You should follow your passion; the effort and commitment you make are better placed onto something you love. Remember, “You’ve Only Begun”.
The past few years have seen you working exceptionally hard, some of your teachers that are here today, remember vividly the young children who started Kindergarten that were looking somewhat overwhelmed by the whole experience of starting school. Your high school teachers are the lucky ones who have had the privilege of helping you with your educational growth and maturation. We have also watched your parents support you with everything you did; they were beside you each and every step along the way.
I would like to thank our staff and support team for their dedication to the students. They do not seek any praise or compensation but their skills and commitment to the task of educating the students is enormous. They spend many extra hours above and beyond what is required of them. A true group of professionals!! A big thank you as well to the parents and guardians for all of the help and support you have given us. Each time we have asked, you have delivered, from helping with fundraisers, assisting with school events and supporting the students throughout their education. You too are an amazing group.
Today at our Graduation ceremony our graduates are rightly receiving the accolades that they deserve. You can proudly take your place among the graduates of our school that have gone before you. I hope you can find a moment just to feel how great that is. Take time to have fun and recharge your batteries before the next big challenge begins. Celebrate your graduation day. I do hope you have lots of fun after the ceremony but be sensible. These celebrations are a fitting end to your secondary school days. They also give us a lift here at school as we see how much graduation means to you. This should be and is a great day for all of you.
I always find it very sad to say goodbye to our graduates. Some of you will come back and visit, others we may never see again after the end of June. However, life must move on and I take comfort in knowing all of you will flourish. Class of 2016, I congratulate you. Always take with you the memories, the knowledge and the self-satisfaction of a job well done.