Carlton grads excited for next chapter

Carlton graduates Kalin Izsak (left) and Kat Bear (right) deliver the final address to the Class of 2017 at the Art Hauser Centre on Thursday. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Life will never be the same after Thursday for the more than 280 graduates from Saskatchewan’s largest high school.

Students from Carlton Comprehensive Public High School’s Class of 2017 took to the stage at the Art Hauser Centre on Thursday, celebrating a successful conclusion to years of hard work.

For graduates like Carlton valedictorian Brianna Grassick, Thursday’s ceremony marked a whirlwind ending to those high school years.

“The day is beginning to fly by,” she said. “It’s nerve-wracking and exciting to move on.”

Grassick said she will always remember Carlton for it’s great sense of community. Her teachers, coaches and classmates were a big part of what made school fun.

In her speech to her fellow graduates, Grassick encouraged them to keep working hard and doing the things that made them successful in high school.

“This is only the first stop,” she said. “High school is just a small part. It’s just the beginning, and you’ve got to be ready to go on and do more.”

In addition to being named Valedictorian, Grassick was also given the Governor General’s Award for having the highest two-year academic average. The honour came as a welcome surprise.

“I just about started crying, but I knew I had to … not … because I had to go onstage,” she chuckled. “I worked really hard throughout the year and pushed myself. It’s nice to get recognition.”

Thursday’s grad was also a proud moment for Calton staff members, who watched 284 of their now former students cross the stage.

Principal Dawn Kilmer said grad is always a proud moment, and praised this year’s class for being driven and compassionate.

“They just have a drive inside of them and a willingness to not accept the world as it is, and to make it better,” she said. “They just do.”

Kilmer added that she hoped this year’s class would remember Carlton as a welcoming community that encouraged them to be more open and

“I hope they realized just how special everyone is, and that everyone has a gift,” she said. “You have to give people the opportunity to share their gift and embrace everyone.”

@kerr_jas • jason.kerr@paherald.sk.ca