Wilberforce Elementary School kicked off this year’s graduation parade with a ceremony at the Lloyd Watson Community Centre June 22.

Highlands East mayor Dave Burton congratulated students, teachers, parents, and everyone involved, saying, “teamwork is alive and well in Highlands East.”

He remarked on a sign at the entrance to the community centre that said ‘the adventure begins,’ commenting, “it certainly is beginning for you. Set your goals, work hard and enjoy every minute of it.”

Echoing trustee Gary Brohman, he added his advice for them going to high school is, “go to class. Go to class. Go to class.”

Valedictorians Keagan Badger and Aiden Smith talked about how they and their peers had “grown, changed and succeeded as a group” before wrapping up with, “it’s been a slice, guys,” and “let’s keep pushing forward together.”

This year’s graduating class:

Keagan Badger, valedictorian and athletic award.

• Kylee Bailey McLeod, most improved award.

• Ryder Bortolazzo, sportsmanship award.

• Nevaya Carisse, growth in literacy award.

• Ana Fillier, mathematics and citizenship award.

• Alexis Flemming, Elementary Teacher Federation of Ontario Award (ETFO).

• Tylson Plumley, the arts award.

• Aiden Smith, principal’s award/Taylor Donaldson leadership award.

• Gavin Trumble, perseverance award.

• Anthony Belmonte, French award.

• Adrian, literacy and academic award.