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Message from LVR Valedictorians — Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars

By Contributor
June 11th, 2014

Every year The Nelson Daily puts out an invitation to the L.V. Rogers Grad Class valedictorian to publish the speech delivered to the class and audience during the Cap and Gown ceremony.

During the 2014 Graduation Ceremony this past weekend at the Nelson and District Community Complex Arena, Rebecca Landsberg and Michael Viala were selected to deliver the speech.

Landsberg and Viala were gracious enough to allow The Nelson Daily to publish his speech in its entirety.


Dear fellow graduates, parents, teachers, family and friends.

In the past four years we have, walked next to each other in the halls, shared failures, successes, partied and gone for the occasional rip. Each one of us has in some way shaped our grad class and added to it. Here we sit at the end of four years of going to class, bearing with LVTV and growing up… just a little.

We would like to acknowledge that today is the 70th anniversary of D-day. Many Canadian’s fought bravely on the beaches of Normandy, so that future generations including ours could have the freedom to follow their dreams. As a grad class we should take it upon ourselves to not let their sacrifice go in vein.

We are all about to embark on various journeys that will continue to shape and change who we are. Some people say that high school is the best years of our lives. We think they’re wrong… and not because it was hard at times but because we think high school is the platform to those best years. This has been the preparation time readying us to get out and explore.   

Along our high school career there have been a few people around… So thank you to the shrill sound of Mr. Mush’s PA announcements, the nauseating smell of Mr. Crosses sardines, and of course McGregor’s book of Roch. You have all greatly added to the experience.

We could tell you that among our grad class today may be the next prime minister but lets be honest we all know that’s going to be Tavi Wickman. Sitting right beside you may be Calvin Klien’s next underwear model…That is if you’re sitting beside Shota Ida, and lets all start cheering right now… that’s the sound of all the mums cheering for Cole Arcuri as he dazzles in his new found figure skating career.

We would like to take a moment to congratulate all the amazing young woman graduating today. This opportunity and right to education that we have is not a reality for many woman and girls across the world, so be thankful for it. So many of you are going to pursue incredible careers. We have Rachel Kinakin going to business school, AKA ready to be the next Russian mafia power women. Out there is Korynn Weber whose vaulting…. Yes that’s gymnastics on moving horse will win us gold. And of course if you are to fall into any legal trouble Tiyena Adams will crush that case while sporting a tasteful pantsuit.

As we enter the “real world” this is the time we claim our spots in society as adults, not the time you went to Calgary to go bar hopping on your 18th birthday.

We will meet new people, travel, get degrees or trades, and within all these pursuits we will continue to learn about who we are and who we want to be. Seek what is your happiness and don’t be afraid to dream. Be resilient, don’t give up on your dreams as Winston Churchill once said “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” As you go on to lead your life carry with you the valuable lessons you have learned.

Have the courage to follow your dreams, and to create what you want. As Milton Berle said, “if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”.

We want to thank on behalf of all the grads our parents. You have been there for us through it all. Even the tween years which were basically the great depression. You pushed us when we needed it but maybe didn’t want it; you comforted us in our struggles, even when the Jonas brothers broke up.

Next up our wonderful teachers. You have tutored us throughout our courses, helped us anytime we were struggling and unveiled educational pursuits we didn’t even know we could love. We will truly miss Mrs.Mctague’s booming voice drifting into the halls.( but seriously how does such a loud sound come out of such a tiny person).

Mr. Studer’s rants about the land of the two ply or Naka’s obsession with juggling. Thank you for your dedication to us. After this ceremony is over go give them high five or a semi awkward hug. They live for it cause clearly there not in it for the money.

For some of us we have been alongside each other for twelve years, for others maybe only the last few, but this year has brought us closer together as group then ever before. Grade 12 has busted open our cliques to form one unified group of graduates. We may enter our new futures individually, but we will have a whole group of grad 2014’s supporting us no matter the distance.  

Remember your Kootenay buds (you mean friends) yes friends, and go change the world.

Thank you for the honor of speaking on behalf of the graduating class And as Les Brown said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”.

Oh and one more thing, grad get your hats up……GRAD 2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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