Valedictorian address written and delivered by John Kenkel and Alex MacDonald

Good afternoon Graduates, Honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen. We are happy to finally be here. We would like to express our greatest appreciation to all the teachers, staff, family members and friends who helped us get to where we are today.

Our high school experience hasn’t just been our formal education, it has been our life education as well. We will carry these lessons into our future. These important teachings include

“Be systematic in your thinking”

“Befriend the smart kid” and

“A squared plus B squared equals C squared”

We’ve had a lot of burning questions that have been extinguished by our teachers. Whether they were sarcastic like

“Can this actually be used in real life?”

“Is it lunchtime yet?”

Or more personal concerns, from bad grades to home problems.

We would like to thank the teachers and staff for all they have seen or heard us doing, and sometimes pretending nothing happened.

But in all seriousness we would like to give huge thank you to all the teachers and staff for everything you have done for us and all the things you have taught us. You showed us throughout our high school career that you are more than just staff, but caregivers in all definitions of the word.

*Let’s give a hand to the teachers and staff*

I would also like to extend a thank you to our parents for all your unconditional love and support. We could never thank you enough for striving to make us the best people we could be.

Finally I would like to thank our principal who I have the privilege to call my dad, for everything he has done to make our high school experience as innovative and successful as possible.

*Let’s give hand to our parents*

To say the least we have come a long way from being from being the little grade 8s hiding in the hallway to where we are now. We used to look around and think about how we’re going to be such weird adults, and here we are now, about to become a bunch of weird adults.

That being said there is nothing wrong with being weird. We’re unique and that’s what makes us special. In a world where everyone tries to follow trends, be up to date with styles and ever changing social expectations, everyone begins to be the same. But why fit in when you were born to stand out?

We’re all going on different paths, but wherever we end up we will always be the odd ones, the small town kid. This is what glues us together. Close personal relationships make us unique in this world that we are being thrown into.

Where personal connections are often overshadowed by thousands of facebook friends and way too many Instagram followers, our real friends are worth their weight in gold.

Some of us have known each other since we were in diapers and have grown up together. We’ve laughed together, cried together, taken flak for each other and these bonds will last a lifetime.

We have so many memories with everyone sitting on this stage, most of them legal. Sometimes they ended in laughter, and some of them still make us cringe. But these adventures built who we are today. These life experiences have built our character and our personalities and the memories we have made together will be cherished.

With time we will drift apart, but, we will always be there for each other through the painful setbacks, painful disappointments, bruised egos and broken hearts.

There will be days when you feel like you just can’t even. Just remember that with the support of each other we can even. You just have to work hard, then work even harder and our small group of Valemount weirdos will do anything and everything we set our minds to.

We’re growing up, and life is going to get serious but no matter how serious life gets, you still need people you can be completely ridiculous with.

Our class is like a huge family with enough dysfunction to make things interesting. With all of our variations we each are a piece in an intricate puzzle.

In closing, when you go out into the world, try and keep in the back of your mind, where you came from and what made you who you truly are. Always remember you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and loved more than you know.

Have a good weekend graduates and on behalf of john and I we wish you an awesome future. Thank you.