We are so incredibly proud to celebrate the graduating Class of 2022, and recognize their accomplishment in reaching this milestone moment.
Our 158-member grad class is a group of exceptional young people and role models, who are about to embark on the next stage of their lives – and we could not be more excited to see what the next chapter brings for them.
During the graduation ceremony, Head of School Mark Turner commented "In a world where too many live in fear, famine and inequality, the need for a new generation of young leaders with vision and energy based on strong values has never been greater."
"The graduating class of 2022 is well set to fill that need, with breadth of achievement in many areas, the depth of the relationships that have been established, and the height of accomplishment. Examples include, national medals at rowing regattas, powerful drama in plays and musicals, art of quality, poetry of depth and musicmaking amongst the best in Canada, not to mention the winning of numerous top scholarships at some of the most competitive universities around the world. The class of '22 have excelled themselves. Their successes and achievements have polished the reputation of SMUS around the world," continued Mark.
These students from 16 countries have collectively earned $3.58 million in scholarship offers, and will head off to a wide variety of schools and countries near and far next year. One-hundred-fifteen grads will stay in Canada, studying at 22 different schools, while another 23 students will study at 21 American schools. Eleven students will attend schools internationally in the UK, Europe, Mexico and Australia, and 10 students will take a gap year to work, travel and continue to gain new experiences and perspectives.
Below are excerpts from valedictorian Alana Norie's speech, which you can watch in full as part of the Grade 12 Graduation Ceremony video at the bottom of this story.
Browse and download photos from the Grade 12 Graduation Ceremony on the SMUS Photo Gallery. Photos of members of the Class of 2022 on stage can be found by typing their full name (eg. Alana Norie) into the "simple search" bar.
Valedictory Address (excerpts)
Graduates, I am incredibly proud of us. Our collective actions in the classroom, in the arts, out on the playing field, and in our community represent our grads class’s integrity, finesse and compassion in all we do. I admire the individual actions of our graduates too. The way you have brought joy to those around you, challenged systems, and are always actively questioning, "How can we do this better?"
I believe every one of us has had a mentor or teacher at SMUS that has made a monumental impact on our life. I ask you to think of that person. Take a second think of them. Remember what stands out to you. Was it their sincere kindness, wild sense of humour, deep passion for a subject, authenticity or simply their always friendly greeting? Remember what they did to make your days a little better. As we go into our new path of life, aspire to be a mentor to others, like yours was to you. Being on both sides of mentorship is incredible valuable.
I want us all to remember that we have had such a privilege to receive an experience like this. But with privilege comes responsibility; a responsibility to hold each other accountable, and continue to grow as the outstanding people that have gathered here to celebrate.
We are leaving high school with a backpack full of critical thinking skills, creativity and passions. We have a shared responsibility to keep our backpacks on each others' shoulders so that when we wander through the world our backpacks are used to lift others up. In a high school that is home to people from all over the globe, we have been immersed in multiculturalism, different languages and a variety of traditions.
Our first responsibility is to continue to give respect to all, actively work towards anti-racism, empower queer people, strive for inclusivity and continue to learn about the past and present of the Indigenous people who are the stewards of the land we are on. While we have all been guided in high school to do these things, it is vital we do not stop when we graduate.
One of the biggest privileges I believe we have had in high school is our ability for choice. We were constantly given options, alternatives and chances to do things differently. I ask for us to be open for different options, for ourselves and others. Be willing to change your mind, adapt, and do things multiple ways. It is extremely powerful when we do something in a completely new way. This will serve us as we start new adventures, but will also serve the people we interact with.
What it boils down to is do is that we need take the foundation of the exceptional people we are today, and keep learning and growing.