Congratulations on your graduation; this milestone is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate.
You are graduating from an excellent public education system in North America, some might even say the world. From the time you started kindergarten you have learned so much, but beyond classroom learning, you have gained friendships, knowledge, maturity and a greater understanding of the world we live in. You have done all of this with family members, teachers, support staff and friends by your side.
The COVID-19 pandemic started while you were all in grade 11. We are still dealing with this situation over a year later, but I am confident that we will continue to do everything we can to protect vulnerable people and to keep our health care system from being overrun. As people receive their vaccinations, we can all feel safer, and a return to summer activities isn’t far away.
The teachers, administrators and staff of our education system are to be commended for the role they played in ensuring that the most could be made of a challenging situation. Sacrifices were made by all, and your community is grateful.
While graduation ceremonies will not be the same for you as it was for students who have come before you, nor will they be like this next year, but as we all know now, pandemics don’t play favourites – we are fortunate to be where we are, here in the beautiful traditional territory of the Tla’amin Nation.
No matter where your path takes you after graduation – a gap year, university, trades college, a full-time job, travelling, or even if you are undecided – I hope you will look back on your time spent in high school knowing that when our world faced uncertainty, that you and your community came together to do what needed to be done.
Stay kind, stay calm, and stay safe, and enjoy life’s next chapter.
Nicholas Simons, MLA
Powell River-Sunshine Coast