Sixty-two Archie Stouffer Elementary School students crossed the stage June 24 to receive their school diplomas from their Grade 8 teachers.

Principal Mike Gervais said, “it was an amazing year to watch our Grade 8’s grow and thrive. It is with great joy we celebrate their accomplishments this evening.”

Trustee Gary Brohman was unable to attend, so Gervais read his remarks to grads. Brohman honoured them for their hard work and reaching the milestone. “It wasn’t always easy, but here you are. And high school lays ahead, with many new adventures and many new friends.”

His nuggets of wisdom included, “always do your best. Be kind, be humble, and grateful for what you have. Be honest with yourself and others and just do what’s right.”

Vice principal Michelle Kernohan told grads, “life isn’t only about a job or a specific career path. It’s less about what you want to be, and more about who you want to be. The values you want to uphold, the impact you want to make, and the relationships you want to build.”

She added, “your personal values are your compass, guiding you through life, empowering you to make the right decisions and shaping the person you become. Will you be someone who stands up for justice and equality? Will you be known for your kindness and compassion towards others? Will you approach challenges with resilience and determination? The world needs people like you, and I believe that wholeheartedly. Your actions, no matter how small, have the potential to make a significant impact. Please continue to just be good humans. Ultimately, you guys have the power to change the world.”

Grade 8 teachers Joel Vaughan, Angela Pilgrim and Cheryl Patterson did the traditional address of a poem, concluding with, “we sure grow them good in Minden.”

Valedictorian Jadyn Hamilton said he’d had an “amazing” 10 years at ASES. “It has been a phenomenal part of our lives.” He said the only bad time was online learning during the COVID years but, “these last two years have been such a blast.”

He concluded, “I’m so sad I am leaving and am going to miss this place. I will always remember where I started my journey. I will always be a wildcat.”