New Westminster Secondary School students are walking the stage tonight (Thursday, June 23) at Queen's Park Arena to mark their graduation — the first live, large-scale graduation ceremony in the district since 2019, before the pandemic hit.
NWSS principal Murray McLeod had a message for students in a speech planned for the occasion, and the school district was kind enough to share it with the Record.
Here, for the Class of 2022, is that message.
Dear graduates of the class of 2022,
Let me start by saying this, on behalf of all the staff at NWSS, congratulations.
For us, your graduation marks a completion in our time together, while for you this milestone marks a transition to the next stage of life. But we hope you’ll look back fondly at some point and reflect on the many people who have supported you over the last thirteen years. Whether that’s a teacher who sparked a new interest, a counsellor who supported you when you needed it, a coach who saw your potential, or any other number of people who you connected with along the way.
We hope that later in life you see yourselves the way we see you now: as young adults who have worked incredibly hard to learn and grow.
But you were not alone in that process. Know that some days, as teachers and other educators, we have learned and grown alongside you. Your hope, your drive and your passion helps push us all to create school communities that are increasingly inclusive and welcoming. We’re all better off for that.
I will leave you with one last bit of advice: always remember to keep your friends and family close to you. What those circles look like over time may change. But what won’t change is that it will likely be the connections to those around you that will help you navigate the difficult times.
There will be difficult times. There may be times you fall. That’s OK. It’s how you rise that will be the best parts of your story. So go rise up in the world.
I wish you well in whatever path ahead you choose.
Principal, New Westminster Secondary School