Celebrating Success with 9 DLC Graduates Nine smiling faces lined the stage of Sun West DLC's 2018 Graduation Ceremony in Kenaston on Friday, June 8th. Given the hard work, perseverance and commitment required to get there, it is no wonder these nine graduates were feeling proud of themselves.
"Today is the result of a lifetime of choices. Your path may not be the same as the person sitting next to you, but we have all arrived at this point together," said valedictorian Darby-Jayne Fletcher.
"I am sure there were also those lonely, frustrating days where we probably thought, 'being in a classroom would be so much easier'. The DLC has broke down all barriers; online learning gives us the freedom to take our education wherever our journey finds us. We are moving forward as resilient, capable, responsible, and determined individuals who are ready for wherever life may lead us."
For the crowd of 130 parents and teachers in the room, those words couldn't be more true. DLC instructor Phil Guebert remarked, "When I looked down the row of grads - each with their own interests, strengths and passions - I saw 9 learners who have carved out their own paths. Young people who weren't afraid to ask questions, to find answers and realize success in a way that made sense for them. As a teacher, it's so rewarding to be a part of that process."
After the brief program - which included a moving speech from Darby-Jayne as well as a powerful rendition of O'Canada performed by Hannah Jalbert and accompanied on piano by Cole Knutson - students and their families connected with peers at an afternoon tea, took photos in the park and then joined in a tour of the DLC building.
In the words of Heather Gardiner, a mother of one of our grads, "the day was absolutely amazing. We are so appreciative that Sun West took time to honour the achievements of these grads. Without the encouragement of DLC teachers, my child wouldn't have completed high school. You let him take the wheel of his boat and, after steering it into a few islands along the way, he has finally docked... with his high school diploma in hand."
Hearing just how important this day is to graduates and their families, DLC staff are already noting things to improve upon for next year. "This day is worth every anxious moment of planning and deliberation for us," said DLC teacher Renee Harrison. "It is a day of celebration for all; we can't wait to pick the date and start planning the 2019 event."
2018 Graduates (back L-R): Yongseong Jeon, Jackson Semenchuck, Jayden
Gilroyed, Cole Knutson, Zackary McKay, (front L-R): Jirah Joy Juson, Darby-Jayne
Fletcher, Hannah Jalbert, Lilianna Skorobohach (missing: Kaitlyn Kjargaard)