Wahsa Distance Education Centre celebrates 2019 graduating class
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Wahsa Distance Education Centre celebrated this year’s 18 graduates during their 28th annual graduation ceremony at Pelican Falls First Nations High School on June 26.
John Cutfeet led as the master of ceremonies as well as translating any English greetings or speeches for northern viewers that tuned in to a livestream of the graduation.
Ennis Fiddler and a drum group opened the ceremony with a prayer and song, which was followed by greetings and well wishes from Principal Darrin Head, Dobi-Dawn Frenette from NNEC (Northern Nishnawbe Education Council), and CAO Michelle Larose from the Municipality of Sioux Lookout.
Patrick Mitsuing, who is a fancy dancer, competing at powwows across North America, was the guest speaker. The valedictorian was Jeremiah Sawanas.
Following the ceremony, guests and graduates were invited to a large dinner feast.
Principal Darrin Head shared that it’s inspirational to see the students overcome their challenges in order to reach their goals and walk across the podium.
“As every year, this is the happiest time for our staff. This is what we spend all year working and striving for – the opportunity to celebrate with our students who have come so far, and overcome so many challenges… To see what these students have overcome to be where they are today, it’s inspirational. It’s such a great feeling for everybody,” said Head.
This year’s graduates are: Victoria Oshag (Fort Hope), Faith Semple (Kasabonika), George McKay (Kasabonika), Margaret Mamakwa (Kingfisher Lake), Patrick Dewey (Lac Seul), Donna Trout (Lac Seul), Charisma Rody (Lake Nipigon), Kerrigan Neekan (Mishkeegogamang), Elizabeth Roundhead (Mishkeegogamang), Krystle Roundhead (Mishkeegogamang), Lizzie Spence (Mishkeegogamang), Charmaine Morris (Muskrat Dam), Patrick Jack (Onigaming), Kenneth Strang (Pikangikum), Jeremiah Sawanas (Sandy Lake), Phyllis Morriseau (Weagamow), Dayna Quequish (Weagamow), and Crystal Mamakwa (Wunnumin Lake).