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Greatest Potential - Principal has high praise for first graduating class of new Bridgetown school


BRIDGETOWN, NS - In a graduation ceremony that saw the principal pull a parachute out of a toolbox, a 99-year-old woman receive an honourary diploma, and one graduate receive both of the top awards, one other thing stood out.

“You are the graduating class with the most potential that I have ever witnessed in my 35 years in education,” said principal Bill Read as the June 28 ceremony began. “But be careful before you throw your shoulder out patting yourself on the back – realize that this notoriety comes with great expectations and advice.”

He told the first graduating class of Bridgetown Regional Community School to wear sunscreen, floss every day, don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, remember compliments but forget insults, don’t read beauty magazines, and get to know your parents.

“Get off Facebook,” he said. “Or don’t. At least realize that Facebook is not real. Facebook makes people self-centered and narcissistic.”

The toolbox from which he pulled the supportive parachute, stands for all the tools for life students have received through their 13 years of education.

During the ceremony native student adviser Pam Durling presented an aboriginal sash to graduating student Dylan Drever, and 99-year-old Hazel Johnson was given her Grade 12 diploma after waiting more than 80 years. She had to quit school after Grade 10 when her father couldn’t afford the new textbooks the school was using.

Grade 12 student Elyse Whitman received both the Queen Elizabeth II Medal and the Governor General Medal, plus a scholarship to NSCC where she will study journalism. Whitman, through the Options and Opportunities Program has been writing stories for this newspaper for the past three years.

Numerous subject prizes were presented to students, plus bursaries from community groups, businesses, and foundations. These total about $23,000. Scholarships from post-secondary institutions were estimated at more that $150,000, although that figure applies to only the scholarships about which the school was notified.

There were 58 graduates who chose Adrian Bent as valedictorian. Bent described the new school as incredible and noted that its first graduating class was also the first Grade 6 class to move into the old Bridgetown Regional High School, now slated for demolition. He said he and his fellow graduates were thus leaving two different legacies.

Bent said this year’s grads were not only role models for middle school students, but for elementary school children in the new P-12 facility.

He said the 2018 grads set the bar high for next year’s Grade 12s. He said his class leaves behind the first-ever provincial banner – senior boys soccer – in the new school.

“You’re all capable of so much and I hope you find it in you to strive for greatness in whatever you do in the future,” he said. “Achieving greatness looks different for everyone, whether it be taking risks or daring to fail.”

The 2018 Grads

Following are the first-ever graduates from the new Bridgetown Regional Community School:

Mackenzie M. Adler

Abigail M.J. Beals

Adrian P. Bent

Zoe B. Brennan

Alexander W.W. Bruce

Zachery C. Burris

Kening Chen

Emily J. Chisholm

Nicholas O. Clark

Caleb B. Cress

Emilee A.H. Cress

Garett R.H. Cummings

Dylan J. Drever

Pearson T. Falls

Kristen M. Foster

Tabitha M. Fultz

Patricio Garza Martinez

Hope M. Hampton

Quinton F. Havenga

Cassidy O. Hutchinson

Jacob L.T. Hutchinson

Liana S. Jenner

Cameron G. Johnson

Hudson P.D. Joudrey

Elizabeth A.P. Llewellyn

Allan S. MacGregor

Kyle L.R. Marsdin

Kiara A. Milne

Zachary R. Myers

Dagen W. O'Neill

Charlotte M. Perriman

Alexis G. Ring

Cameron J. Robb

Stefani C. Roscoe

Skylar E. Ruggles

Hailey J. Saunders

Jonathan C.A.D. Saunders

Joel M.D. Sheridan

Kaylee D. Sheridan

Mirah R. Stultz

Bailey R. Surette

George E. Thompson

Gregory E. Thompson

Janessa M. Tosh

Nicole I. Vanasse-Longley

Amber E. Vance

Courtney E.M. Veinot

Courtney A. Veinott

Benjamin J. Vidito

Janelle S. Walker

Malcolm H. Walker

Ethan A. Ward

Gavan K. Ward

Madison A. Weatherby

Madison J. Wheeler

Elyse M. Whitman

Kayleigh D.L. Whitman

Rebecca C. Yeo

Chan J. Yoon

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