The W.C. Miller Collegiate graduates chose a quote by the infamous Dwight Shrute from the series “The Office” to represent the spirit of the Class of 2019.
“I am ready to face any challenge that might be foolish enough to face me.”
Ninety-eight graduates took the stage at the MEC on June 26, nostalgic about the last 13 years they spent together, from Kindergarten to Grade 12, but eager to move on to the next chapter of their lives.
Valedictorian Jossie Yan thanked staff and parents for all the support they’ve shown.
“My parents moved to Canada to make a better life for their kids about 16 years ago. So standing here with a diploma is a great privilege and honour.”
She went on to say, “Class of 2019, also known as the most charismatic, memorable class to don the stage, it’s been four long, yet short years since we arrived at the jungle called W.C. Miller. We have outgrown the place that housed us through the days of studying and chicken burger lunches. As young freshman, we’d choke on the Axe spray that decimated the halls, and giggled ferociously during the health classes. I’m proud to say we’ve come a long way since then.”
Yan said there were lessons that class time doesn’t always teach. “These were the moments outside of timetables where we talked and learned from the teachers as people, not just as students.”
The Class of 2019, she said, earned medal after medal. banner after banner. and performed music and shows to the masses.
“Yet those aren’t necessarily the most impactful parts of high school. It is the conversation and interaction during those hours that taught us how to lean on each other during tough times, as friends who reach out to others in need. They are the tools that aided us when we learned tolerance, empathy and kindness.”
She noted that they had all made many mistakes through the years. “And we will continue to make them, but it’s okay, because it’s like Michael Scott said, ‘Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.’
Now at the end of this path, she said the graduates will be out in the world for the first time, and have a chance to let themselves flourish in life.
“From carpenters to physicists to future business owners, I have no doubt that our class will achieve greatness. We will succeed,” she said.
“But being successful doesn’t mean that we’re all going to become billionaires. Being successful isn’t the momentum of money and recognition. Michelle Obama said, ‘Success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in other people’s lives. The difference here is also the legacy you leave behind. A great legacy is the happiness and the hope that we share.”