Twenty-three Bentley graduates have left their mark on Bentley and now are moving on with a different part of their lives. The town has left its “tattoo” on them too.
American country artist Jason Aldean’s song “Tattoos on This Town” was the theme of this year’s graduation on June 28, a month later than what had been a traditional May graduation for many years.
The evening started off with a catered meal in the Blindman Valley Centre for grads, their families and supporters, some school administration and teachers, dignitaries and invited guests.
Masters of ceremonies were Grade 11 students Peter Mueller and Justine Henry.
The Toast to the Parents was given by graduates Darien Miller and Andrea Taylor, with the reply by Mr. Dennis Duncan.
The Toast to the Teachers was extended by Alick Croft and Nevada Snow, with the reply by teacher Mr. Jason Hazlett.
Shelby Duncan, Jessie Cadman, and Rochelle Barteski showed their PowerPoint presentation about each of the grads during their school years.
United Church minister Adam Kilner, who spoke of making an impact on the world, performed grace and the invocation.
School principal Lane Moore introduced each graduate as they took their place on stage, the girls in their gorgeous fairytale gowns and the guys dressed to the nines.
The Bentley class of 2012 is: Rochelle Barteski, Jessie Cadman, Alick Croft, Shelby Duncan, Shauny Durant, Randi Gordon, Trent Grutterink, Matthew Huehn, Darien Miller, Stephanie Lenz, Shenelle McPhee, Zarina Mirwais, Jolene Naismith, Kayla Neumeier, Colby Reid, Jayce Rogers, Matthew Rosenthal, Kesler Scholze, Nevada Snow, Andrea Taylor, David Tronnes, Emili Tudhope, and Kyle Turbull.
Congratulatory messages were offered. Wolf Creek Public Schools trustee Mrs. Karin Engen explained her idea of how “lifelong learning and technological devices” have changed over the years. Bentley town mayor Mrs. Joan Dickau wanted the graduates to realize what a great supportive group in their families and friends the graduates have had and said “You have left your mark (on this town) like the (chosen theme) song says.”
Class historians Rochelle Barteski and Trent Grutterink shared amusing and sometimes embarrassing anecdotes about what they remembered about each student.
Class Valedictorian Shelby Duncan, the winner of multiple scholarships, spoke to the capacity audience who filled the many extra chairs that were hauled in.
Former school principal Lothar Kemski, who personally knew most of the graduating class, was the guest speaker. He reminisced about his 17 years at Bentley School, honoring “your Mom” as they see their child leaving home, and change. He compared graduating from school and what it means, to learning to ride a bicycle. There is someone holding on to the back and “pushing” you along while at the same time that person is wanting to hold on and not let go but know that is what they have to do.
Award and scholarship presentations followed.
Shelby Duncan received the ATA Award from teacher Merv Leidl. She also got the award for highest mark in Social 30 and the highest mark in English 30 as presented by Jason Hazlett, and highest mark in Math 30/31 from Brenda Von Kuster. She also earned the Governor General Award.
Colby Reid received highest mark in the sciences, sponsored by the Bentley Ag Society, presented by teacher Morgan Laird and Ag Society president Joan Dickau.
Jessie Cadman received the Lifetouch Scholarship from teacher Lee Varty.
Ag Society president Joan Dickau also helped present the Bentley Ag Society Scholarship that went to Trent Grutterink who plans to attend Olds College and take ag mechanics.
Andrea Taylor won the Bentley Seed Cleaning Plant Scholarship as presented by Lane Moore.
Principal Lane Moore and school board trustee Karin Engen presented Kayla Neumeier and Rochelle Barteski with Wolf Creek Public Schools Scholarships. Jolene Naismith got the Wolf Creek CTS scholarship.
Rutherford recipients for 80 per cent or higher went to Shelby Duncan, Shenelle McPhee, Colby Reid and Jolene Naismith; and for 75 to 79.9 per cent to Stephanie Lenz, Kayla Neumeier, Andrea Taylor, Jessie Cadman, and Kyle Turnbull.
School athletic director/vice-principal Stephen Lush presented Minor Athletic Awards to Jessie Cadman and Darien Miller, and Major Athletic Awards to Shelby Duncan, Alick Croft, Randi Gordon, Trent Grutterink, Stephanie Lenz, Matthew Huehn, Shenelle McPhee, Jayce Rogers, Colby Reid, Kesler Scholze, Andrea Taylor and Kyle Turnbull, noting it is quite an achievement for more than half the class to receive the sports awards.
Kyle Turnbull received the Outstanding Male Athlete Award, sponsored by the Elks and presented by Lush and Elks member Martin Schneider; and Randi Gordon was the Outstanding Female Athlete Award winner, sponsored by the Royal Purple and presented by Lush and Royal Purple member Julie Potter.
Kyle Turnbull won the Cheryl Screpnek Humanitarian Award that was presented by Sherry Haarstad.
The Bentley Library Society Best All Around Students Awards and pending scholarships, presented by Moore and Bentley Library Society vice chairman Colleen McNaught, went to Kyle Turbull and Colby Reid.
There were some new scholarships. The Altered Images Scholarship, as presented by Sherry Haarstad and Altered Images representative Cherri Bosch, went to Shenelle McPhee; and the Sylvan Lake Rotary Club PRIDE Award as presented by Moore and Rotarian Joyce Megson, who explained that the Rotarians like to “give back”, were awarded to Kyle Turnbull and Alick Croft. PRIDE represents the school motto of Partnership, Respect, Integrity, Dedication, and Excellence.
Certificates were given to each graduate as they left the stage and a yellow long-stemmed rose was also given to them to share with family.
There were lots of hugs throughout the evening and especially at the conclusion as everyone realized it was a “final farewell’ for many of the students and teachers. A few tears were shed.