Sparwood Secondary School graduates Levi Strom and Ariel Devine. Ezra Black/The Free Press

Sparwood class of 2017 graduation

Sparwood Secondary School celebrates

It was the end of a tough journey and the beginning of a beautiful one for the 46 graduates of Sparwood Secondary School’s class of 2017 who held commencement ceremonies at the Sparwood Curling Rink on Saturday.

After a welcome address and a message from the school’s board of trustees, over $30,000 in scholarships and bursaries were awarded to the graduates.

Valedictorian Noah Devine reflected on the exciting occasion and thanked parents, teachers and peers for all of their support.

Although high school graduation could be viewed as a finish line, Devine encouraged his peers to view it as the start of something grand.

“After today we will all be young adults going into the post secondary world,” he said. “Persevere, keep moving forward. Every single one of you has the ability and potential to achieve something truly great. It is not how many times you get pushed down but by how many times you can be hit by failure and by life and continue to march forward.”

Quoting Harriet Tubman, principal Frank Sopko urged his students to be proud of who they are, where they come from and their accomplishments.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world,” he said.

A dance and a grand march were held after the graduates tossed their hats into the air.