New era begins for Carlton graduates

Carlton Comprehensive High School graduate Tereza Alfonse (right) gets a hug during graduation ceremonies at the Art Hauser Centre on Thursday. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

For the Carlton Comprehensive High School Graduating Class of 2018, life will never be the same.

Roughly 350 students crossed the stage to receive their diploma during Thursday’s ceremony at the Art Hauser Centre. For the teacher responsible for handing out every diploma, principal Dawn Kilmer, the event marked the end of an era and the begging of another for a grad class filled with promise.

“Each of their stories are just so remarkable,” a beaming Kilmer said following Thursday’s ceremony. “It just shows people how resilient these kids are, how beautiful these kids are (and) how kind. The world is in good hands.”

New beginnings were a common theme during Thursday’s ceremony. Guest speaker Michelle Zatlyn, a Carlton alumnus and co-founder and COO of the web performance and security company Cloudflare, encouraged students be curious, be willing to learn, and be willing to step out of their comfort zone. You’re entering a new ear, she explained, and it’s one filled with potential.

“Some of you loved high school and some of you didn’t, but guess what? A new chapter is beginning for each of you,” Zatlyn said during her speech. “You get to decide which parts of you you bring to the next chapter. You have the opportunity to decide who you are going to be.”

Kilmer took a similar line of thought in her own speech, encouraging the Glass of 2018 to be fearless as they stepped out into the world. However, she also reminded them that they’d always have a place back in Prince Albert.

“Once a Crusader, always a Crusader,” she said at the end of her address to the class.

Kilmer added that the Class of 2018 was well known for its ability to embrace and appreciate those around them. She’s confident those skills will take them far, and hopes being at Carlton encouraged them to keep pushing and trying new things.

“They can do anything,” Kilmer said. “They’ve had practice at being uncomfortable and it’s okay to be uncomfortable. They can do anything, and that’s what I hope they take away.”