Sioux Mountain Public School Valedictory Address
Emily Barrett and Dakota Koostachin - Valedictorians
Emily: Good afternoon parents, guardians, staff, students, community members and distinguished guests. Welcome to the 2022 Grade 8 graduation. Where we celebrate opening a new door and chapter in our lives as students as a whole. We are thankful to you for attending today and helping us celebrate.
Dakota: School was a fun and amazing journey. It was a fantastic experience full of ups and downs, but we are thankful for the teachers and staff that got us here to Grade 8 and beyond.
Emily: I would like to thank all the second language teachers who have taught us along the way. Miss. Moore is a great language teacher and a very comical person often adding fun things to her teaching experience such as word searches. Mrs.Vistor always brought a sense of joy to the room when she walks in. I don’t think I have ever seen her in a bad mood. I want to thank Mrs. Wrolstad, an amazing language teacher who sadly doesn’t work here anymore as she left to work somewhere else. We also want to thank Mr. Craig, who taught us the basics of French through song and food and Ms. Martin-Asmus who has been an amazing teacher and has taught us the skills we have today. Thanks to these language teachers we learned our second languages and are very appreciative of that.
Dakota: I would also like to thank the other great teachers that taught us math, geography, social studies, health and other various subjects in school. Mr. Meyers was possibly one of the best teachers that I had in school. He helped me and taught the whole class tons of things this year including how to use 3D printer, math, and to write great speeches like this. Mr. Flickinger was a very laid-back type of teacher who was always calm and interested in what students talked about and he was an extremely helpful back in Grade 3. Mrs. Bortolot was a great art and science teacher. She often added tons of fun to her teachings, getting us engaged and getting our hands on the fun.
Emily: I would like to thank some of the teachers I have had over the past 5 years I have been here. Starting with Mr. Tennyson, I had him this year and I learned a lot from him. He helped us step up our game in all subjects and taught us how to write a proper essay. He made learning fun by finding songs about the topic we were learning and sometimes he made up his own songs and sometimes it was just to bug us. We also had fun last year with Mr. Gigolyk who taught me a lot last year. He always put his students first when teaching. We did fun things like roast battles, baking Fridays, outdoor learning and many other things while still making it educational. He made sure we had fun and enjoyed what we were learning about and made boring things interesting. He taught us that no one is perfect, we all make mistakes and that you learn by making mistakes. Mr. Searle was an easy-going teacher who was always interested in what the students were interested in. I remember every Monday we wrote about our weekend, and he was always so intrigued with what we did that weekend and we really stepped up our writing game that year. He also taught various subjects in fun easy ways but would also challenge us while doing something fun. Ms. Salonen was a teacher who helped us mature into the kind of people we are today. We had many ups and downs that year, but she helped us solve our problems and taught us how to solve them ourselves as problems arose. I learned a lot of life skills that year and I am grateful for that. Mr. Dixon was the first teacher I had here. He was the kind of teacher who made us use our creativity and imagination to the max when learning. He took us into the world of books, both reading and writing. He got us to think out of the box when it came to writing and solving problems and taught us history in fun creative ways that made it easier to learn.
Dakota: We also want to thank Mr. Mahoney for teaching us pathways. We have learned many life skills and knowledge from him. Later on, when I think about what career I will choose I will think about the talks he had with us about how to know what career is for you and put the knowledge he shared with us to good use.
Emily: Mrs.Dumonski is a person who deserves a big thank you. She was a person you could always go to for food or anything you need. She always made sure kids had things to do after and during school. She helped run after-school programs for the kids and did BBQ during the end of the school year. If you ever needed something she had it and she was always there for us whenever we needed something and was always ready to help out.
Dakota: Mrs.O’Connor, our librarian, is someone who is worthy of thanks. Over the years she has helped us dive into different books and has also taught us to use our manners in everyday situations. If you wanted a book and couldn’t find it, she always came through and had it the next time you went in.
Emily: We also want to give a big thank you to our principals over the years. They have run our school and had to deal with things we have done and helped us learn from our mistakes. They have made our school the place it is by making it a safe learning environment and making sure we were learning what we needed to learn.
Dakota: Thank you to all the teachers we have mentioned for helping shape us into the people we are today and for the people we will become.
Emily: We are all so thankful we were able to go to Kenora this year. One memory that will stick with me forever was when we went to a store called Sure Thing. We went in and started looking around and Mr. T found a bucket hat that had fruit on it. It didn’t take long to convince Mr. T to buy it. So, he bought his bucket hat and some of the others were looking at sunglasses and Selene found these glasses that Mr. T was pumped about it because they suited her so well and then Bella and Vanessa had found some heart-shaped sunglasses that they liked. We had been talking to the people in the store and he saw and heard how much we like the glasses. Out of his generosity, he gave us $10 off the sunglasses making the trip one to remember. I got to see that Mr. T was glowing with happiness after we left and couldn’t get over how much the glasses suited Selene.
Dakota: The Kenora trip from my point of view was obviously different as I was in Meyers group consisting of: Tyler, Treyden, Szandor, Aaron, and Vincent. The funniest memories I have from the Kenora trip is us going to Boston Pizza and eating upstairs with friends and teachers. One of my friends named Tyson was about to eat his pizza rubbing his hands together like a cartoon character. When he was about to eat, he reached for a piece of pizza. While doing so accidentally spilled his cup full of iced tea onto the plate which held his pizza, soaking all of it in iced tea. After this shenanigan he proceeded to eat the half of the pizza including his iced tea soaked pizzas. Lesson learnt? Don’t waste food.
Emily: We are all so thankful that we were able to make memories by doing Connected Norths. The dissections of squids and eyeballs will be an experience I will not forget in the future. We had a lot of fun sessions, but we want to give a special shoutout to Kevin from the History Squad, who showed us that history is actually interesting! We learned a lot through Connected North and enjoyed the opportunity to be able to learn through a fun experience.
Emily: I look forward to going through high school with these wonderful peers and friends that we went through elementary school together with. I look forward to the days when we will be making more memories together and meeting new people in high school. I am looking forward to gaining new experience and skills in high school and beyond. I’m also looking forward to be able to do hands on learning like auto shop, music class, construction, and art. I’m looking forward to going on this journey with these wonderful people and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds.
Dakota: In talking with some of our classmates, we thought we would share what some of our aspirations are and what we are looking forward to in High School and beyond. Like many of us, I am looking forward to meeting new friends and teachers. I am personally excited the most by the opportunity to participate in music class. Szandor is looking forward to taking art classes and is planning on being a politician. Dylan has aspirations to become a mechanic when he is done his classes. Vincent has his eyes set on college when he is done, and Maguire is looking forward to taking classes that help him on his journey to becoming a carpenter. Niska is looking forward to getting her driver’s license so she can explore the big wide world. Whatever our dreams may be, and wherever our journey takes us, I know that we will all accomplish great things!
Both: Congratulations guys! We made it!