The theme of this year’s grad class was based on the song, “Every Mile A Memory”. Ten of the 11 Graduates had been together since they were in Kindergarten; the program was a journey through their time at the school and their future hopes and dreams.
On the wall behind the stage was a very large collage of B&W photos of their time at the school, overlaid by the caption “Every Mile a Memory”.
Emcee for the event was school principal Lance Barrate, assisted by high school teacher Katrinka Johnson, as the school’s vice principal took the day off to be one of the eleven grad parents, with her second daughter one of the eleven grads.
After introductory exercises and greetings from local school trustee Margaret Walker and RM of Wallace Councillor Clayton Canart, comments were made by several people to the Grads regarding their journey, and the milestones of learning, laughter and friendship with classmates, teachers and the people they have come in contact with. With every mile telling a story, perhaps the milestone of this graduation day may be the last time the Grads will all sit together.
This year there were two valedictorian speakers, Kelsea Sanheim and Karli Fredericks and for that task they were recognized with an award from the Elkhorn Elks Club, presented by member Chance Toder. The PowerPoint presentation, teacher appreciation and valedictorian address all showed the strong feeling that had developed over the years for their teachers, past and present, their classmates and the community.
After the parent dedication by Kalli Martin and Katelyn Bajus and the very unique children’s story book video response by grad parent Laurie Martin, the grads came down from the stage to present roses to their parents and grandparents. This was a moment filled with tears and smiles.
However the whole grad class had one more rose presentation - that of a rose from each of the grads to Mrs. Sanheim, who had taught all of the grads at one time or another over the years; but more importantly, had guided them through their final year as grad advisor and with university and college applications and information sessions. This was a very unique and special event for her and the students. Sanheim is a former graduate of Elkhorn School, from a family that has strong ties to the community.
Next, the official grad diplomas were awarded, a student council presentation, and honor roll recognition from the Elkhorn School Parent Committee and the FLBSD Honor roll award.
The longest part of the afternoon was the presentation of many scholarships and awards to the grads. Each year the number of awards gets longer and the monetary amounts get larger. The awards are from a wide number of sources including private individuals, churches, service clubs, local and international businesses.
The final award would be the prestigious Governor General’s Medal for academic excellence. Division Superintendent Barry Pitz presented the medal to Taylor Leigh Ross, who graduated with an average of 93.6% and intends to attend Brandon University in the fall.
Before closing with “God Save The Queen” by Hannah Marie Martin (who also opened with “Oh Canada”), a few more closing remarks were made to the graduates, by presenters, encouraging these young people to remember where they started their journey as new milestones whiz by, and remember what they have learned from each other.
Taylor Leigh Ross is presented the Governor Generals Bronze Medal for academic excellence by school division superintendent Barry Pitz. Ross graduates with an average of 93.6% and intends to attend Brandon University in the fall.
Elkhorn Graduates, Class of 2017
Devon Oliver male athlete of the year presentation by Elkhorn School Phys-ed teacher Tyler Wood.
Kalli Martin female athlete of the year presentation by teacher Tyler Wood
Karli Frederick and Kelsea Sanheim awarded the Elkhorn Elks Valedictorian Award by Chance Toder.
Giving the parent dedication, Kalli Martin and Kelsea Sanheim.
Honour roll students Kelsea Sanheim, Karli Frederick, Cody Rookes, Superintendent Barry Pitz, Katelyn Bajus, Taylor Ross.
Hannah Martin receiving Elkhorn School Outstanding Musician Award from School Music Teacher Sandra Unger.
Hannah Marin singing O Canada
Former Elkhorn School teacher Betty Rae Rookes gives a hug to her graduating grandson Cody Rookes.