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    The students went outside of Valour JK-12 school to throw their hats in the air, signifying the end of an era and their much-deserved graduation. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Director of Education Pino Buffone gave the Schulich Leaders Plaque to Catherine Bell. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Ryan Hathaway was the proud recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award. It was given to him by Director of Education Pino Buffone. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    The Ontario Principal’s Council -Principal’s Award for Student Leadership was presented to Nicholas McKay by Principal Bryan Baird. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Principal Bryan Baird presented Luc Lessard with the Renfrew County School Board Technical Studies Medallion. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Commander Colonel Jason Adair presented Keely Patrick with the Governor General’s Academic Medal. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Claudia Huston was chosen as the 2018-2019 valedictorian. 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Commander Colonel Jason Adair happily presented her with the much-coveted Valedictorian shield. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)



2018-2019 Valour students graduate

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday October 3, 2019

The students of the 2019 Valour JK-12 graduating class were the first to complete their high school education entirely within the halls of this relatively recently built high school.

While their families and friends looked on with joy and relief, the teens patiently waited to complete this traditional ceremony June 27, before heading into the next phase of their lives.

Graduating is an achievement they should all be proud of, regardless of their future chosen path. These hardworking students have dedicated countless hours studying, volunteering and doing tests to prepare themselves for this moment.

“Take a moment to reflect what this means,” said Renfrew County District School Board (RCDSB) Trustee Bryon Morris. “Think of your diploma as a key that unlocks further education, good jobs and a future.”

It represents their commitment to their public education as well as a major milestone. Words of wisdom and congratulations were shared by guest speakers to the young adults in attendance.

“Be patient, be positive and be prepared,” said RCDSB Director of Education Pino Buffone, urging students to remember that despite any setbacks, they will be able to achieve their goals if they remember these three p’s.

It can be a scary world out there, but with everything they’ve managed to achieve in order to graduate, they should be prepared for anything.  2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) Commander Colonel (Col) Jason Adair reminded them that no matter what twists and turns their lives take, they will find themselves where they need to be.

“Life doesn’t happen in a straight line,” said Col Adair. “Despite your best-laid plans, surprises will be a constant thing. Life is not fair and you will stumble and you will fail. But you will also find many successes. When surprise comes knocking, rely on your character.”

He presented the Valedictorian Shield to Claudia Houston.

As she spoke to her peers, she reminisced about some of their incredible feats over the past years, sharing with the crowd both the good and the bad.

“School doesn’t just teach us about science and math, English and history,” said Huston. “It teaches us to do things we don’t particularly like and to be around people we don’t necessarily want to be around. School teaches us the responsibilities of everyday life.”

Yet she knew that things would turn out well for everyone, as long as they put in the effort, roll with the punches and keep going.

“If you can take it one step at a time and recognize that you are doing your best, it will work out,” said Huston.”

While receiving their diplomas, a number of students also received awards and bursaries: The University of Toronto National Book Award was presented to Keely Patrick who also received the Governor General’s Academic Medal. Catherine Bell received the Schulich Leaders Plaque. The Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award was given to Rylan Hataway while the Ontario Principal’s Council - Principal’s Award for Student Leadership was given to Nicholas McKay. The Renfrew County District School Board Technical Studies Medallion was presented to Luc Lessard.

The Renfrew County District School Board Grade 12 Medallions were presented to the top ranking scholars, students who have achieved a minimum of six credits at a Level 4 standing during the 2018-2019 school year. This included Eric Banks, Breanna Bartlett, Zac Barvestal, Catherine Bell, Jordan Blair, Mac Douglas, Tobias Gallas, Brenna Gardiner, Kelsey Halter, Rylan Hathaway, Alyssa Hicks, Claudia Houston, Chantelle King, Remi Lavoie, Kyle Leach, Caitlin LeBlanc, Noah LeBlanc, Dawson MacDonald, Sam Mahinpoor, Natalie Martinook, Lauren McCabe, Nick McKay, Olivia Neff, Aidan Neville, Keely Patrick, Gabrielle Peebles, Jessica Rannou, Madalyn Richards, Kari Sprague, Fiona Thomas, Brent Towstuk, Matthew Unrau, Elizabeth Van Horne-Wall, Carter Walsh, Hayden Weisenberg, Ulash Yildir and Hannah Young.

“Each of you has the ability to become whatever you want, to become anything you want,” said Principal Bryan Baird.

“You have the foundation, the knowledge, the skills, the work ethic to be successful,” he added.