The 2014 Bentley graduation exercises took place on the evening of June 26 at the Blindman Valley Ag Centre. There was a catered meal by Bob Ronnie Catering for the 30 graduates, and multitude of families and friends, school staff and dignitaries.
The meal was followed by the processional and the formal graduation ceremony.
The theme chosen by the 2014 class was ‘Leaving a Legacy’.
Grads sat at a head table along the west wall with a backdrop of mini-lights shining through gold fabric with the theme showing through in black lettering.
Masters of Ceremonies for the banquet were Grade 11 students Kai Poffenroth and Savanna Spendiff with grace said by Caleb Schmidt from the Bentley Youth Group.
The Toast to the Parents was given by graduates Hayley Bickford, and Spencer Holden, with the reply by parents Janis Bickford and Kari Holden.
Cassandra Ruud and Carissa Derksen extended the Toast to the Teachers with the reply by teacher Brenda Von Kuster.
A power point presentation by Char-Lee Ruud and Cole MacKenzie with a collage of photos of graduates at different stages as they were growing up was shown between supper and the ceremony.
School principal Lane Moore introduced the Bentley graduates by calling them up on stage individually. “For you this is the end of one journey, and the beginning of another,” he told them.
He presented the first-ever PAW (Panthers at Work) hoodies to Carson Schneider and Nathan Dennehy and explained that a new program will be started at the school in the fall because of their significant contribution while attending school.
With a big jar filled with golf balls, and some pebbles, sand, and soda drink, he also demonstrated how you can fill your life, and if done in the proper order all can fit in together.
Moore said “If you fill your life with too many little things, there is no room for the bigger things.”
He explained to the grads that they should fill their lives with the big, more important things like family first and leave the little, least important things like fashion until last, or there might not be enough room for the most important things.
Class historians Nathan Dennehy, Carson Schneider, and Haleigh Reid shared a short musing, usually a comical one, about each of the classmates with the crowded hall full of well-wishers.
Class valedictorian Elizabeth Keller said she had set a goal for herself to be the class valedictorian back when she was in Grade 7 and she did it! She spoke of setting goals in life and leaving a legacy, and thanked the parents and teachers who inspired them.
Guest Speaker John Bauer, a retired teacher and former Eckville Elementary school principal who has known the class since he taught them when they were in Grade 6 has been a favorite substitute teacher at Bentley for a number of years.
He said, “Take time now to do things; don’t put them off. Time goes by.”
Bauer explained how he felt that “how you live your life and what you do yourself” is what creates a person’s legacy and that there are steps to leaving behind a legacy.
“What legacy will you leave?” he asked the graduates. “It isn’t what you do, but how you do it. Make it happen.”
A student presented him with a gift on behalf of the class.
Then it was on to the awards / scholarship presentations.
Class valedictorian Elizabeth Keller received the Governor Generals Award, the Highest Mark in Social 30 and Highest Mark in English 30 from presenter teacher Jason Hazlett, Highest Mark in Math 30 & 31, from presenter teacher Brenda Von Kuster, and Highest Mark in Sciences from presenters teacher Michael Sonnenberg and Bentley Ag Society Vice President James Taylor.
The ATA Award (presenter Lane Moore) was won by Robyn Shannon and the Leadership Award (presenters teachers Joan Gammie and Jill Howe) by Carson Schneider.
The Wolf Creek CTS Scholarship for trades went to Cheryl Tudhope and the Wolf Creek Scholarships for going on to a college or university to Cassandra Ruud & Haleigh Reid (presenters Lane Moore and school trustee Pam Hansen).
Both the Bentley Ag Society Scholarship (presenters Jason Hazlett and James Taylor) and the Bentley Seed Cleaning Plant Scholarship (presenter Lane Moore) went to Hayley Bickford.
The Sunny 94 Scholarship (presenter Lane Moore) recipient was Bayleigh Franz and the Lifetouch Scholarship winner (presenter teacher Lee Varty) was Char-Lee Ruud.
Carissa Derksen was the Cheryl Screpnek Humanitarian Award winner (presenter Sherry Haarstad).
For athletics (presenter assistant principal Stephen Lush), major award winners were Cassandra Ruud, Char-Lee Ruud, Hayley Bickford, Matthew Day, Nathan Dennehy, Spencer Holden, Kolton Hueppelsheuser, and Carson Schneider, with a minor award to Haleigh Reid.
The Outstanding Female Athlete (presenters Stephen Lush and Royal Purple representative Julie Potter) was Hayley Bickford and the Outstanding Male Athlete (presenters Stephen Lush and Elks representative Lynda Haarstad-Petten) was Kolton Hueppelsheuser.
Hayley Bickford and Spencer Holden won the Female and Male Bentley Library Society Best All Around Student Awards (presenters Lane Moore and Bentley Library Society chairperson Shirley Talsma) and the Sylvan Lake Rotary Club ‘PRIDE’ Awards (presenters Lane Moore and Sylvan Lake Rotary Club representative Joyce Megson) went to Cole MacKenzie and Carson Schneider.
Rutherford Scholarship recipients for receiving marks of 80 per cent or higher were Hayley Bickford, Carissa Derksen, Bayleigh Franz, Spencer Holden, Elizabeth Keller, Cole MacKenzie, Kacey Maerz, and Kash Philibert, and for achieving marks of 75 to-79.9 per cent were Emily Albers, Haleigh Reid, Cassandra Ruud, and Char-Lee Ruud.
Dignitaries in attendance included guest speaker John Bauer, Assistant Superintendant of Schools Jayson Lovell, Wolf Creek Public School board trustee Pamela Hansen who brought greetings from the school board, Bentley Mayor Lynda Haarstad-Petten who brought greetings from the town, Caleb Schmidt from the Bentley Youth Group, VP of the Bentley Ag Society James Taylor, Chair of the Bentley Library Society Shirley Talsma, Bentley Royal Purple representative Julie Potter and Sylvan Lake Rotary Club representative Joyce Megson.
Bentley 2014 graduates were: Emily Albers, Hayley Bickford, Taylor Bohn, Brandon Chaudhary, Matthew Day, Nathan Dennehy, Carissa Derksen, Bayleigh Franz, Spencer Holden, Skylar Holdstock, Kolton Hueppelsheuser, Tessa Hughes, Coltin Jensen, Elizabeth Keller, Saskia Knox te Winkel, Cole MacKenzie, Kacey Maerz, Troy Metro, Kelsey Murphy, Kash Philibert, Haleigh Reid, Reese Reid, Christopher Robie, Emily Rogers, Tamara Rompfer, Cassandra Ruud, Char-Lee Ruud, Carson Schneider, Robyn Shannon, and Cheryl Tudhope.
They each received their Bentley School diploma from school principal Lane Moore and assistant principal Stephen Lush as they descended the stage. Two students who graduated were unable to attend the formal ceremony.