Wesmor Class of 2021 persevered through pandemic

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald The Class of 2021 of Wesmor Public High School raised their hats at the conclusion of the ceremony on Wednesday at Wesmor.

The Class of 2021 at Wesmor Public High School in Prince Albert faced many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but persevered through them all.

The 21 graduates received on final send-off during an in person graduation ceremony on Wednesday at the school.

Valedictorian Naven Wolfe was proud of all that the Class of 2021 accomplished.

“It means that everyone who has graduated from here can go on to do whatever they want and to be with the knowledge and friendship that we have gained at this school, and they know that they have graduated alongside everyone that comes out of this school,” Wolfe said.

“This year at Wesmor has been pretty hectic but I have got to say that it was never boring,” he added.

Wolfe’s best memories of Wesmor was his friends, including fellow graduate Kalab McKay.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Valedictorian Naven Wolfe addressed the Class of 2021 and a small group of family and friends during the Class of 2021’s graduation ceremony at Wesmor Public High School on Wednesday.

“(We) always hung out every day, no matter what or where we are, no matter what class we got to we always came and hung out with each other,” Wolfe said.

Another memory that Wolfe has is playing chess in the library with McKay and other friends who challenged him to improve.

“They always pushed me to my best and to make me think,” he said.

Principal Gina Sinoski was proud of what the Class of 2021 accomplished as well.

“This group persevered through a pandemic, persevered through not knowing whether on Friday they would be returning to school, or on Monday doing it remotely (and) they got to experience some of the milestones that are normal, before the pandemic and that is special,” Sinoski said.

The way the year worked out was also a positive for the staff. Sinoski said they developed a deep bond with the students, and were able to show how much they believed in them. She said they appreciated the chance to see their students’ faces and show them how proud they were.

“These kids spent half of last year not in school, so doing it from home and here they are today,” she said.

“These students can believe in themselves, and they do. They are confident they have achieved something and they know that they have a future,” she added.

Elder Liz Settee gave the opening prayer while also paying tribute to the class. Lindsey Gopher-Fourstar gave the Salutatorian address. Trustee Arne Lindberg brought greetings from the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division. Principal Gina Sinoski brought a message to the graduates from Wesmor and instead of throwing their hats the graduates gripped them and put them above their heads because of COVID-19 protocols.

During the powerpoint presentation there were thank you messages from each student along with their future plans.

The ceremony was also live streamed so families could watch.

Naven Wolfe was a multiple award winner, taking home the Prince Albert Lions Club Award, which is presented to the Valedictorian, the Wesmor Public School Community Council/Sask. Rivers Students for Change Award, the high academic achievement Governor General and SRPSD119 Award, the Paper Excellence First Nations Scholarship and the Paper Excellence Community Scholarship.

“I was surprised, I didn’t know how much I was going to get. I would have been happy with just one award and that would be okay, but I was surprised by how many times my name was called,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe thanked his mother and sisters for pushing him to finish the year.

“They are the reason why I still came because I did not want to, when I heard I had enough credits to graduate I stopped wanting to come to school but my mom made me push through saying that no matter what you have always got to continue to get more knowledge no matter what,” he said.

Kaitlin Forest was also a multiple award winner taking home the Wesmor High School Daycare Award and the Bonnie Bates Memorial Award, which is dedicated to an advocate for the Daycare.

Kalab McKay was a multiple winner as well earning the Rotary Club of Prince Albert Award, John M. Cuelenaere Public Library Award and Wesmor Staff Award.

McKay and Terrill Schultz shared the Wesmor Staff Award honour.

The Prince Albert Area Teachers Association (PAATA) Judy Bell Memorial Award was presented to Gopher-Fourstar, the Prince Albert Optimist Club Award was presented to Dezmond Highway and the Pattison Media Scholarship was presented to Sara Durocher.