JDH grads take the next step
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | June 25, 2015
Dozens of proud parents, guardians and family members filled the gymnasium at J.D. Hodgson Elementary School on June 23 for this year's Grade 8 graduation ceremony.
Fifty-three graduates received their certificates at the event, which included the handing out of several awards.
"Tonight we celebrate yet another milestone in our children's lives," said school principal Andrea Borysiuk during her welcome address. "I have enjoyed my year here with these students. It has been a privilege in my first year here at JDH."
Before her arrival, Borysiuk was principal at Stuart Baker Elementary School. Although she is fairly new to the school, she said she knows most of the students on a first name basis.
Borysiuk thanked parents and guardians for "partnering with us in our efforts to guide these young adults."
"I look forward to following these graduates as they continue their journey on this campus, at HHSS (Haliburton Highlands Secondary School). In four short years, we will get together again and celebrate our children."
Trillium Lakeland District School board trustee Gary Brohman called it an honour and privilege to be able to speak at several commencement ceremonies this week.
"J.D. Hodgson has produced some great, great people going to high school ..." he said. "How they get there is through family, through love ... and all the proud faces out there, congratulations tonight."
Brohman also contributed their success to the staff at the school.
"They're meeting them on the extra mile. A lot of times you don't meet people on the extra mile," he said.
Brohman delivered a similar message as the one he gave to the graduating class at Archie Stouffer Elementary School the night before, with the emphasis on hard work and attendance.
Once all of the graduation certificates were presented, valedictorian Arden Harrop addressed her fellow graduates.
"We started off in Grade 4 walking through these hallways, thinking how big everything was," Harrop recalled. "The school, the gym, the Grade 8s. We were thinking of our futures and what we were going to do when we were in Grade 8 – and now the ending is finally here."
Now, graduates are focusing their thoughts on high school and the unknown. However, their memories from JDH won't fade anytime soon, she said.
"Whether it's the Red Hawks down the road or a school all the way across the country, we will always have a small piece of JDH within us."
The following students were recognized with awards at the ceremony:Award of Academic Excellence – Aidan Coles, Vaibhavi Marathe and Maya Meraw
Award of Outstanding Distinction – Natalya Gimon, Arden Harrop and Coleman Heaven
Citizenship Award – Louis Muenzel and Kiefer Harrison
Principal Leadership Award – Kurtis Adams
TD Environmental Leadership Award – Lexie Tait
Athletes of the Year – Natalya Gimon and Coleman Heaven
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.