École Valois celebrates five graduates in Class of 2023

École Valois Photo The five graduates in the Class of 2023 at École Valois included Jasmine Cook-Lanovaz, Jesus Diaz, Fatima Hassan, Jonas Plaxin-Gilles and Noah Topping.

The Class of 2023 at École Valois celebrated their successes at the school graduation ceremony on June 2.

Graduates Jasmine Cook-Lanovaz, Jesus Diaz, Fatima Hassan, Jonas Plaxin-Gilles and Noah Topping received plaudits from friends, teaching staff and others. Cook-Lanovaz and Hassan spoke on behalf of the class with Hassan speaking in French and Cook-Lanovaz speaking in English.

Cook-Lanovaz and Hassan both talked about their experiences with École Valois. Hassan attended the school her entire career and Cook-Lanovaz came in Grade 10.

“When I decided to come here, I was so nervous,” Cook-Lanovaz said. “I didn’t know what to expect, except that École Valois was a little smaller than my old schools. Before coming here, I received an email from Ms. (Catharine) Topping telling me about all the people who are going to be in my class, and suddenly, all my fears are gone because the three people will be so excited to see a new face.”
She added that it took some time to adapt to her new school, but eventually, she came to love it.

“I realized that there’s no other place I’d like to graduate from, next to these incredible students with whom I share so many incredible memories,” she added. “I want to thank my parents for forcing me to come to this amazing school.”

Meanwhile, Hassan has only attended Valois since coming to Canada. She was used to attending schools with a larger student body, but came to appreciate Valois’ small size.

“I remember the first time my cousin came to the secondary side, by that I mean the four classrooms and a small hallway,” she said. “All joking aside, I could not have found a better school for myself. Valois became my second family.”
Hassan thanked all of the teachers for their help in various ways on her journey.

“It brings me great sadness to have to leave École Valois, but I was lucky enough to graduate with these four wonderful people,” Hassan said.

Vice chair and Prince Albert representative Geneviève Binette spoke on behalf of the Conseil des écoles fransaskoises school board. Roger Boucher spoke on behalf of the Valois School Community Council and Nathalie Beaulieu spoke on behalf of the Canadian French Society of Prince Albert.

Principal Topping addressed the class and celebrated them for facing life’s challenges.

“I know that you have experienced some difficult times when you thought you would never make it to this day, and also moments of great pride in your accomplishments,” Topping said. “This graduation ceremony is a moment of great pride and represents an infinitely joyful moment and a step towards your future.

“Being here today, ready to graduate, demonstrates your perseverance and hard work. Whatever path you take, I hope you will put your intelligence, skills, and knowledge into practice to create a strong foundation to pursue your dreams. With your curiosity, kindness and wisdom – show that you are ready to discover everything the world has to offer.”

Along with the address from Topping several secondary teachers addressed the graduates. These included Vice Principal Jessica Bergeron, teacher Jocelyne Vogt, teacher Michael Bowden, teacher Jacqueline Dennis and teacher Paul Bergeron. Each teacher shared their best memories of the students.
Cook-Lanovaz and Hassan then returned the favour to conclude their speech.

“Thank you for all the time you spent making sure we knew what we were learning,” Cook-Lanovaz said.

“And for making us feel safe,” Hassan added.

They concluded by thanking the staff on behalf of the entire class in unison.