Sioux Mountain Public School celebrates grade 8 graduates
Tim Brody - Editor
Sioux Mountain Public School celebrated the accomplishments of its grade 8 graduates on June 27.
Victor Lyon led drummers in an honour song for the school’s 40 graduating students.
Teacher Julia Palumbo was the Master of Ceremonies for the graduation.
The valedictory address was presented by graduating students Emaya van Diest and Sierra Woods.
Principal Darryl Tinney shared with family members, school staff and students, “Like the sun today, your futures are going to be shining very brightly… and we wish you the very best of luck moving forward. Congratulations to the class of 2019.” He also told graduates, “I want to take a moment to recognize that as one door closes, another is about to open for you. A very exciting opportunity, grade 9.” He went on to state, “I really want to challenge you guys to seize that moment and make the best of it. We’re very proud of your accomplishments, but we also want to acknowledge all of the effort that parents, guardians, family have had on your elementary school careers as well; also the hard work, dedication and commitment from the staff at the school and community partners. Without all of that collaboration and effort, this would not be possible. So I just want to take a moment to thank everyone for your efforts and contributions to getting our graduates to where they are today.”
This year’s graduates were: Mylo Anderson, Haylee Bouchard, Meleena Cheesequay-Agustin, Henry Davis, Pearson Demery, Madison Diston, Shaloom Emmanuel, Michael Fiddler, Kameron Gaudreau, Abigail Geddes, Justine Gray-Cutfeet, Dalton Langlois, Jody Littledeer, Wendell Loon-Binguis, Sagatay McKay, Tess Moskotaywenene, Hailie Sinclair, Lucas Toft, Lola Tuesday, Emaya van Diest, Anna Wesley,
Sierra Woods, Kimiwan Achneepineskum, Harmony Beardy, Sahara Carpenter, Keisha Dodsworth-Tait,
Kaylah Duncan, Amber Kahpeepatow, Kanaysah Kakegamic, Lanneah Kakegamic, Damon Kakekagumic,
Dianna Kejick, Eridesa Kenny, Maheagan Lachinette, Storm Mason, Riley Morris, Brody Muckuck, Megan Stewart, Jenna Tait, and Brenda Wren.
Sioux Mountain Public School Valedictorian Address
Emaya van Diest and Sierra Woods - SMPS Valedictorians
Emaya - Good Afternoon friends, family and teachers and welcome to our 8th grade graduation. On behalf of all our fellow grade eight students, we would like to say thank you to everyone who came to our graduation ceremony today, to wish us farewell and send us off to the big scary high school. Which by the way, will be the high school that we will become the very first class to have a full high school career at Sioux North High School. We would also like to say thank you to all of the teachers and staff for having us here, trust me we know that it has been hard (although we know you still love us deep, deep down).
Sierra - Hello I’m Sierra. I have been a student at Sioux Mountain Public School since Junior Kindergarten, and it has been an unforgettable experience. There have been many ups and downs during our journey here, and memories made that we will never forget. When I first started this year I felt excited to be entering into my last year at this school, but I think I can honestly say that this year has been the best year of my school experience and it made me realize how much I’m truly going to miss this school and everyone who works here. I have made so many friendships at this school, some of whom are here today and some that have moved elsewhere. The parents and grandparents in the audience should feel proud today because I can tell you straight up, that some of the funniest, smartest, kindest and coolest kids I’ve ever known are graduating here today. Over the years, we have all gotten to know each other so well and have had so many great times together. We have all went on many journeys, in and out of this building. A few of the best field trip memories I remember were; the Egli's Sheep Farm trip in grade 2, the grade 4 French class trip to Festival Du Voyageur in Winnipeg, the water festival, Cedar Bay trips, career fairs and the end of year Toronto trip. During the past 2 years I have been part of the incredible leadership group in this school, where we have learned how to take the lead in helping other people. This year we have put together many events in our leadership group including Fun Food Fridays - where we put together an activity-filled morning for the kindergarteners at the end of each week, elder lunches, school dances, fundraisers, and we also planned and decorated for our prom and grad. Leadership has made me realise how much I like to help people and be responsible. The leadership group has made a big impact on many lives, including mine.
Emaya - Hey there. I’m Emaya, and I have actually only been going to Sioux Mountain for two years. I remember my first day at this school like it was just yesterday. I was absolutely terrified. I went from going to a tiny school of only about 120 kids to a school with almost 400! As soon as I walked into my first class I could feel my heart racing at a million miles an hour, I thought that I was going to stick out like a sore thumb! But then everything immediately changed when I was given such a warm welcome from all the students and staff here at SMPS. I swear this school has the most compassionate and kind people I know and I will be ever so thankful for the things they did to make me feel at home here. The same thing goes for all of the students! Every single one of you guys sitting behind me have touched my heart and have really made me feel like I truly belong here. Without you I don’t know where I would be right now and how drastically different my life would be. I’m gonna say, it would look pretty sad and boring without you guys. Over my past two years here I have experienced many amazing things and have been able to take part in a lot of fantastic activities that I will be sure to remember for the rest of my life. From our yearly haunted houses, the Christmas play that we had my first year here, all of the sports teams (even though I may have slept in or missed a couple of tournaments….), our amazing leadership club that has really given me the opportunity to branch out and explore all of the possibilities that being a leader can give you, our wax museum, the small group activities that our wonderful school counselor put on, our weekly class cooking, the super great academies that I have learned so much from, and so many more things that I will have a hard time leaving behind. My time here at Sioux Mountain may have not been for very long, but I can already see now that it has made a very large imprint in my life.
Sierra - Mr. Dixon was my grade 8 teacher. His sense of humor is amazing. He has also been a good sport when dealing with some hard core teasing and roasting this year, but he always takes it like a champ (and has pretty good comebacks). He has inspired me to become a better person this year and some of my favorite memories have happened in his class. Thank you Mr. Dixon for putting up with us and making our last year as memorable as can be. I would also like to take a moment to thank a few other teachers who have had an impact on us grade 8s. To Miss Palumbo, who kept us in line, and could be pretty scary at times, but once you get to know her you realize that she really cares about her students. She was dedicated to motivating us to take better care of ourselves and become decent human beings. To Mr. Tennyson, who is the other grade 8 teacher, thank you for putting up with us through our last year here. He also tries to scare us but ends up entertaining us instead (you’re not really the scary type). To Mr. Town, who always made learning fun, and had a passion for making even the most boring topics fascinating. To Ms. Salonen who has the kindest and warmest heart. She was always there for us not just with our school work but with our emotional lives too. I felt a strong connection with her and I know that I'm going to miss her a lot. To Mr. Craig for making French class the best time of the day for me and making French a very interesting subject and also for teaching me to make the best crepes ever. To Mrs. Wolstrad, who taught us music and was very patient, Mrs. Hughdie who taught us art and how to be kind to others, and to all of the other teachers and staff who had a hand in getting us here today.
Emaya - Now I remember the first time I heard that Mr. Dixon was going to be our grade 8 teacher, not gonna lie I was frightened. I was scared of him because there was one day in grade 7 when he was our hockey academy coach, and he just seemed so big, tall and serious. After the first week of school though, I totally saw right through him (that’s right Mr. Dixon I know that you’re just a big old softy.) He has really been a great grade 8 teacher and I thank him for everything that he has done for us, especially for our weekly cooking because we all know how much us teens love to eat.
I would also like to say a brief thank you to the administrators and secretaries of this school. Mr. Tinney the principal, you have always been here for us when there has been a problem, and you have never failed to be quick to jump right on top of the issue head first to make sure that your students are well. You have also provided us with many opportunities that we wouldn’t have been able to have done without your dedication to make our lives as interesting as possible. Just like when you made sure that we were got money for our weekly cooking. Everyone wanted to be able to participate in this activity so badly but weren’t able to do it unless we had funding to buy the things necessary to make it happen. Mr. Tinney was quick to jump right on in to get the “okay” from the higher professionals so that we would be able to do our weekly cooking, and for that I know that my class will be ever so grateful towards you.
Mrs. Van Diest the vice principal (or mom, whatever you prefer) has always had her office door wide open to any of us when we have needed to talk or have an issue sorted out. No matter what our problem was she would always give us the right advice no matter how difficult it was for us to hear it. Although everyone here can't say the same, I've had you as my vice principal for basically my whole school career. I know better than anyone else how much thought and care you put into your students. You always put in so much effort for them and even though it sometimes goes unnoticed, you are always looking over each and every one of their shoulders to make sure that they are okay. I can’t say that I’m not excited to get some time away from you (because I may be just a little bit) I can say that I will miss you being my vice principal.
Last but not least I would like to say a huge thank you to our secretary and former secretary Sam and Ms. Diston. You put in so much of your day to making sure that our school runs smoothly and without you our school would completely fall apart. I can’t even begin to list the things that you do for us on a day to day basis. Now, although we didn’t have all of you guys as teachers, you have still helped us out at least once or a couple of hundred times, so thank you to all of the staff members of this school. I’m very sorry that we couldn’t say something about all of you although I wish that we had the time to, because this speech would go on for about an hour if we did and I know that everyone in the audience would get bored eventually.
Emaya - I can say with great certainty that Sioux Mountain has shaped me into the person that I am today. Everything I have learned here in this school has helped me in one way or another, and for that I am very thankful. Even though I won’t be here next year to continue learning from all of you, I will always be able to remember what I was taught here. I don’t just mean the basic subjects like math, literacy and physical wellness, but the other just as important skills that I will be able to use throughout my whole life. The courage and strength to try new things, to be honest, no matter how much trouble you might be in, to speak what is on your mind, having respect for everyone around you, how to be a leader to the people around me, the many ways you can use tomato sauce and much more. This school is basically all I have ever known, it’s scary to think that we are moving to high school after 10 long years of being in elementary school! I don’t know about you guys but I’m really nervous! I know that everything will be okay because of the amazing grade 9 transitions program that we have been doing over the past couple of months, but that still doesn’t leave a gut wrenching feeling in my stomach over leaving this place. Even though it seems like I would be happy to run out of these doors and never come back it’s really the opposite! I’m gonna really miss it here! In my heart, I know that everything will turn out okay, and that life will go on and this school will continue to flourish and grow as it does today.
Sierra - We would also like to take a moment to thank all of the families here today; the parents, grandparents, siblings, extended family and friends. You are a big part of why we are standing here today. Thank you for waking us up for school each morning, driving us there and back almost every day and just generally having our backs and supporting us for the past 10 years. We couldn’t have done it without you and for that we are all very thankful. Finally, to my fellow students; it is true that friendships may come and go, but we will be forever connected together by our experience here at Sioux Mountain Public School. I know that I have made friendships here that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Today marks the end of a chapter in our lives, but a new one is just beginning. I believe that the experience we have had at Sioux Mountain School has taught us many things that have helped us to be prepared for becoming high school students. We have learned to be brave, to stand up for ourselves and others, and to be kind to each other. Albert Einstein once said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” One thing I think Sioux Mountain has done well is to look at us all as individuals, and they have supported us in developing our own unique strengths and abilities. Overall, my time at Sioux Mountain Public School was incredible and I hope that this school continues to be as awesome for all the students who will come after us as it was for us.
Sioux Mountain Public School graduation awards
KPDSB Good Citizenship Award
Exemplifies the 7 Grandfather teachings
Sioux Lookout Public Library
Demonstrates a love of reading
United Church & Anglican Church Women’s Group Awards
Best academic achievement in all subject areas
Abigail Geddes and Kanaysah Kakegamic
Michel Leveque Core French Award
High academic standing, proficiency in French
Emaya van Diest
Nishnawbe-Gamik Friendship Centre Native Language Award
High academic standing, proficiency in Native Language
Nishnawbe-Gamik Friendship Centre Artistic Achievement
Artistic vision & Creativity
Model Student of the Year Award - Male & Female
Excellent attitude, effort, school involvement, good behaviour, and academic achievement
Emaya van Diest and Shaloom Emmanuel
Award of Merit - Male & Female
Positive attitude and consistent effort
Wendell Loon-Binguis and Lola Tuesday
Sports Award - Male
Athletics, effort, participation and leadership
Sports Award - Female
Athletics, effort, participation and leadership
Most Improved Student Award
Most improvement in academics
Ontario Principals Council Award
Positive attitude, effort, leadership, and promotes peace in the school & classroom
Sioux Hudson Literacy Council - Young Readers Award
Improvement in literacy skills
Volunteering to improve the school community
SMPS Hockey Canada Skills Academy Award - Male & Female Athletes
Most talented/ skilled
Haylee Bouchard and Henry Davis
Participation, positive attitude, respect & helpfulness
Emaya van Diest and Sierra Woods