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It's Graduation weekend at L.V. Rogers — plus Conner Butler's Valedictorian speech

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
June 10th, 2011

By Bruce Fuhr
The Nelson Daily

Connor Butler hopes to “inspire” his classmates during his valedictorian speech for the 2011 L.V. Rogers Graduating Class Friday at the Nelson and District Community Complex Arena.

The LVR senior was elected by his peers to lead them during their swan song from public school during Graduating Ceremonies this weekend.

“I want to reflect a little bit on the last few years at LVR but I mainly want to inspire them and make sure their having a good at the graduation and continue to have a good time for many years to come,” Butler, who attended Blewett Elementary and Trafalgar Junior High School before attending LVR, told The Nelson Daily on the eve of the weekend ceremony.

The festivities begin Friday at the NDCC Arena with the Cap and Gown.

Students will be ushered up on stage to receive their Graduation Diploma from LVR administration beginning at 6:45 p.m.

Included in the evening are speeches by special guests and, of course, Butler speaking on behalf of the graduates.

And for members of the public or family worried about the score in the hockey game, Butler promises to keep the audience informed — giving a special play-by-play, if necessary.

“I have my phone up here and someone to text me if (Canucks) score in the game so (fans) can all relax a little,” said Butler, captain of the LVR Bombers rugby team.

Saturday the Grand March begins at 1:30 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.

Those without tickets must wait to see the grads decked out in formal wear during the Cavalcade through the downtown core of Nelson.

The Cavalcade (see parade route below) begins at 4 p.m. from the NDCC parking lot, moves along Front Street to Ward before turning left onto Vernon.

The grads will wind their way through downtown before concluding the Cavalcade back at the NDCC.

The ceremonies finish with the Prom Saturday night at LVR.

Valedictorian Connor Butler wowed the sellout crowd during the Cap and Gown ceremony of the L.V. Rogers 2011 Graduation Ceremony at the NDCC Arena.

For those missing the words of wisdom of this Blewett Elementary grad, Butler has agreed to allow The Nelson Daily to print his speech.

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I have my phone up here and someone to text me if we score in the game so you can all relax a little, and I’m going to keep this short so we can catch the end of it possibly.

Okay, so I know this is going to sound a little unorthodox but bear with me for it has serious logic behind it that will be revealed in just a minute. Please raise your right arm. Now place it on the shoulder of the person sitting to your right, yes even if you don’t know them.

Thank you.

That makes my job a lot easier because now I can say, even if you don’t like it, that my speech has touched you all.

Now as I was writing this earlier today, three words came to mind, bravery, courage, and greatness. These three words are the basis for the most boring speeches ever written.

So I thought, what can I write that will captivate, interest, and inspire all of you? I wasn’t going to say anything but I have a blank piece of paper up here, it just looks better if I bring something up to the podium with me.

I would like to just say a few things about the best high school in Nelson because I have had an amazing time here and know that as a class we have all had a righteous time as well.

Remember our grad prank…ya me neither. I mean how lame is that, a senior class that doesn’t do one, graduation, fare-the-well to the school and students, see you later suckers, prank. But our campout was awesome, or at least it was going to be until…anyways.

You know what was sweet though, when I mooned everyone while making my valedictorian speech!

No, couldn’t moon Slash from Guns ‘n’ Roses back there. Give him a big round of applause; he came all the way here just to watch us graduate. And that was our senior prank, thanks for participating.

On that note actually, seeing as I have a blank piece of paper and can jump around here, I would like to thank some other very important people.

You all can see this coming so I’ll get it out of the way first, thanks mom, thanks dad, and thanks to all the parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, step-what-evers and guardians, and everyone who helped to shape these students.

My classmates sitting in front of me are all amazing people ad that is because of the environment you have all put around them. So I thank you because I love hanging out with them.

Thank you to Kevin and Tony, and all the best friends who are there no matter what.

Thank you Danica, and thanks to all the girlfriends and boyfriends who put-up-with, support and embrace the crazy, weird ideas their counterparts come up with.

Thank you to the rugby boys, and all the teams, groups, gatherings, bands, classes, choirs, and shindigs that give everyone a place to belong.

Thanks to Mr. Joyce and all the other heads of these committees that make it possible for them to exist and thrive.

Thank you to the administrators who have made this school what it is. Finally, and yes I’m done after this, thank you to the class of 2011 for electing me to be your valedictorian. In doing so, you have enabled me to learn two crucial lessons.

One, no matter how much knowledge you have or think you have, it is far more important to make good decisions and fully think through things before acting. Be wise; use the wisdom I know you all are capable of.

When I found out that I was elected valedictorian three weeks ago, I thought to myself, I have lots of time to write this…procrastination, not a good decision, I didn’t think that one through. For you see, knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

The second lesson was that you have to take risks. I’m taking a risk by being up here. I risk looking like a complete fool in front of everyone I care about and accept me, and that’s huge.

But if I didn’t take this risk, I would never have had this experience, the adrenaline rush of having everyone looking at you, the excitement of being the one in control, the nerves going wild of having so much responsibility placed upon them.

I would never know if I could make speech like this. I would never know if I could talk in front of so many people. T. S. Eliot once said, “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.”

L.V.R’s graduating class of 2011, it is my belief that the prominent hip hop musician who said, “We da best!” was talking about you, congratulations, it’s been an honour.



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