SMPS Valedictory Address
Alysa Rhone and Sienna Labelle
Hi, I’m Alysa Rhone, and I’m, Sienna Labelle.
Sienna: We would like to thank all of the parents, guardians, family, staff members, community members, and distinguished guests that came together today to help us celebrate our Online Grade 8 Graduation.
Aly: Along our journey many things have happened. Some most memorable, like first diving into the world of Harry Potter with Mr. Dixon and being shown what a magical thing reading can be, or connecting with the land with Elder Nick, and getting insight on his wisdom and learning what nature can do and provide for you. Even small but noteworthy things have impacted us along the way, like creative games with Ms. Palumbo, or finding joy in playful roast battles against classes. Yes, we ourselves are graduating and our hard work is paying off, but so many others affected and influenced who we are today, so this is where we would like to give out shout outs, to all the beautiful souls that worked hard to shape us into successful graduates. Some include: Ms. Hughdie, who from the very start gave us a very diverse and inclusive education to inform and teach us about the struggles of LGBTQA+ community, and not only that but also making sure we knew about the racism and the troubles residential school survivors and victims had to go through. She constantly opened our eyes to the conflicts and problems around the world and made it so we worked on other things that didn’t just involve what was mandatory to learn.
Sienna: Yes you’re absolutely right, I distinctly remember her in grade five, taking us to Queen Elizabeth to poke holes in through metal spoons to identify which ones were the schools. Ms. Hughdie wanted to reduce plastic waste, so she fought for the removal of plastic utensils at Sioux Mountain along with convincing Fresh Market Foods to have the option of paper bags, in the hopes that it would make a difference in our plastic consumption. Ms. Hughdie was someone who not only set an example of following your passions but also following through with your goals, further proving to us that we can do what we strive to if we put in the hard work. So, shout out to you Miss H.
Aly: Many teachers have had their imprints on us as students but one in particular has been there from the start giving us our fair share of scolding and pushing us to be our very best. So, this is where we’d like to give a shout out to Ms. Palumbo, who saw the potential in all her students and never gave up on any one of us no matter how difficult it got working with our bunch, (which got pretty bad at times). Her tough love left little room for excuses and always made room for improvement and hard work. These are some of the many reasons why so many of us look up to her and always hoped to be in her classes come the new school year because we knew, with her as our teacher we became the best versions of ourselves.
Sienna: Speaking of pushing us to our fullest potential, there’s another human being we’d like to give a shout out to who never failed to inspire us with his words, someone who was so incredibly understanding. So Mr. Mahoney, on behalf of the grade eights graduating, we would just like to say thank you for your long inspirational talks that we enjoyed, whether it was because we got a break from work, or it was because your words motivated us and gave us the push we needed to complete assignments.
Aly: When the bell rings for lunch many of us celebrate. Others may not. It’s no secret that plenty of misbehaving goes down in the periods between 10:30-11:00 and 12:40-1:30, and for this reason we’d like to give a shout out to all the E/A’s and lunch supervisors who had to deal with our classes during the time we were *supposed* to be eating. While we’re on the topic of lunch, we’d like to give a shout out to Mrs. Dumonski who made food for us in the lunch program without fail, because I know for sure that if it wasn’t for her I would have been starving on the days I forgot my lunch.
Sienna: We all made it through this year because of the strong relationships that we built with others. Our amazing friends and understanding teachers have helped us through fights and conflicts between us students of which we put behind us and started focusing more on what’s ahead of us because the past is in the past and why let that ruin a good friendship? What also helped us make it through this year was that sometimes we would do fun stuff like watch a movie or play games, which was nice because we got a reason to not do our work.
Sienna: The things that I am looking forward to in high school is that I will be able to use the skills that we’ve learned all these past years. For example, building more relationships with our older peers and teachers. I’ll also find uses for Mr. Mahoney’s long inspirational talks. I for sure know that I am excited to meet other teachers that are like the ones at Sioux Mountain and hopefully watch our younger friends graduate both elementary school and then high school when we are older.
Aly: I completely agree. I especially look forward to watching the continued growth and development in my peers surrounding me and utilizing the skills we’ve spent the last years memorizing and working on to better myself for the years to come. I hope to achieve all my future goals and to keep going on the diligent path I am to success and happiness.
Sienna: The two of us would like to thank you all for making our school years memorable and enjoyable and never failing to bring out a smile or chest aching laugh. We would also like to give one last staff shout out to Mr. Tennyson and Mr. Gigolyk for putting up with our mischief this school year because how you handled us while also dealing with the restrictions and struggles of Covid-19 is beyond me.
Aly: Last but certainly not least, as your valedictorians we would like to give a huge shout out to all of our friends and peers for growing and being on this journey with us through elementary and now to high school and for playing a big role in making our school years unforgettable. As the great Albus Dumbledore said, “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” Congratulations to you all for this amazing achievement and we look forward to continuing to grow alongside you into the future.