After 13 years in the provincial education system, high school students will be turning the page and opening a new chapter in their lives when they graduate from Mount Baker Secondary School on Thursday.
While most of the 279 graduates will be sitting in Western Financial Place, waiting for their chance to cross the stage and receive their diplomas, there will be a few others up at the podium as part of the ceremonies.
Thomas Stambulic will represent his classmates as the valedictorian, while Mitchell Graw and Matthew Struthers will tag-team as the Historians.
As the student with the highest GPA in the 2015 class, Stambulic was automatically nominated as the class Valedictorian.
“I think they’re pretty optimistic about their futures,” Stambulic said. “We’ve had a pretty good class, we’ve known each other for quite a long time.”
Though commencement ceremonies tend to be riddled with cliches, it’s also one last time to reflect as a group on their journey through the school system.
Stambulic will be heading to the University of Alberta next fall for a undergraduate degree in biochemistry. While he has his plans already set, there are fellow students who have yet to see what their futures are like.
“I know out of the grad class, quite a few people haven’t decided what they want to do yet,” Stambulic said. “And I know quite a few are staying at the College [of the Rockies] and taking general courses and quite a few have already completed the ACE IT program and are heading into the trades.”
For Graw and Struthers, there was a more complicated process where they had to collect signatures, give an impromptu speech at an assembly with one other candidate and go through a ballot process afterwards.
After winning the vote, the two have set their sights on putting their mark on the commencement ceremonies.
“I know when I was writing it, I just had in mind a nice theme of togetherness,” said Graw. “We did this together, we’re going to grad together, we’ve gone through these 13 years together.”
Added Struthers: “We’ve shaped each other over the years as well.”
There will be a trip down memory lane with what Graw called the ‘bad haircuts’ in middle school and the smelly markers and the gym parachutes that were a hallmark of the elementary school days.
After the summer break, Graw and Struthers are both planning to do some general studies at COTR in the fall semester.
Graduation ceremonies begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 25th at Western Financial Place. The next day, students will gather for Prom out at St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino at 7:30 p.m. for a reception before heading up to the College of the Rockies gym at 10 p.m.