Final farewell at Marie Rivier

Graduates from Blessed Marie Rivier throw their caps in the air to celebrate the end of their time in high school. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

It was a mixture of happiness and sadness as Blessed Marie Rivier Catholic School celebrated what could be its final graduating class.

A total of seven graduating students from the Class of 2017 took to the stage to commemorate and remember the days gone by, and to look forward to the future.

“It’s exciting and a little bit scary, to go off into the real world, but it’s been great (being at Rivier),” class valedictorian Drew Ikert said. “The school’s done so much for all of us and I had wonderful classmates who supported me. We all pushed each other.”

Ikert said she will always remember Rivier for the opportunities the school provided. By taking part in things like a class trip to Europe and the school’s Model United Nations Club, Ikert said they were always challenged to become better people.

“The opportunities to grow and improve within the school were amazing,” she explained.

During her valedictorian’s speech, Ikert urged her fellow graduates to follow their dreams. She said she was fortunate to have brilliant classmates, and hopes they’ll find success wherever they go.

“They all have amazing potential and they all have so much to offer the world,” she said. “I really hope they chase after their dreams and ambitions.”

Although the Class of 2017 was small, Rivier principal Robert Tessier said they made up for it in heart.

He said this year’s grad class is full of future leaders who have a strong desire to confront and defeat the challenges they’ll face in the world today.

Even though he’s confident they’ll excel in the future, Tessier said it’s still difficult to close the chapter on this era.

“We’re always torn to see them go, but that’s how it is. We’ve got to let them go, let them move on, and we know they’re going to do well.”

During his final address to the graduates, Tessier urged them to remember the power of prayer. He hopes that during any future trials, they’ll remember that the teachers they knew at Rivier will be praying for them wherever they are.

This could be one of the final graduating classes for Blessed Marie Rivier. Starting next year, the school will consolidate with nearby St. Mary High School, with the exception of the Grade 7-8 classes, who will operate under the Blessed Marie River name. The long-term future of the school has not yet been decided.

@kerr_jas •