The Bentley Grade 12 graduation ceremonies was truly a gala event.
The theme for the ceremonies, held June 21 at the Rimbey Agricultural Centre, was Painting Our Future.
The evening’s event was a delightful mix of pride, humour, graciousness, bright promises of future success and words of wisdom spoken by the guest speakers.
Athletic director and vice principal Stephen Lush introduced the graduates and offered them seven guidelines for future success.
“Treasure time with family and don’t grow up too fast, he said. Decide on a plan four your future and take healthy risks.
Believe in something and ignore your critics. Give something back.”
Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA Jason Nixon reminded the grads to thank their parents, their grandparents and their teachers for their continued support, but he noted that each individual deserved the most credit for achieving this educational milestone.
“The one who deserves the most credit is you,” he said. “You are unique.”
“As a town we share in the joy of the completion of the painting of your future,” said Mayor Greg Rathjen, who told the students to value their friendships and their achievements and to always remember to treat others the way they want to be treated.
School board trustee Pam Hansen told the grads to be brave and kind and stay in touch with family and friends.
Class historians Caitlyn Cumming and Angelina Matheson shared many fond memories and inside jokes with their classmates.
“Nothing compares to the memories and friendships we’ve made here,” they said.
Class valedictorians were Zoe Lorenz and Kelsey Vig.
Guest speaker John Bauer, former principal of Eckville Elementary School and substitute teacher said graduation is the beginning of the end.
Bauer stressed that a positive attitude and imagination are important traits to engage in when working towards achieving goals in life.
He said it is also important to look at threats as challenges, noting that perceived threats often result in fear and the feeling of powerlessness.
Bauer congratulated the grads and told them to go out and paint their future.
Following the speeches awards were handed out to deserving students.
Easton Moore won the leadership award, the outstanding male athlete award and the Josyln Snow Memorial PRIDE Award.
Austin Siebold won the Lifetouch Scholarship (photography award).
Serena Cumming and Lexi Moore were the recipients of the WC Scholarships.
Geran Christiansen won the CTS Scholarship and the Bentley and District Ag. Society Agricultural Scholarship.
Academic excellence in social 30-1 went to Kyle Gerrits.
Kelsey Vig took academic excellence in social 30-2, English 30-1 and biology 30. She also won the Cheryl Screpnek Humanitarian Award, the Sylvan Lake Rotary Scholarship and the Joslyn Snow memorial PRIDE Award. She also qualifies for the Governor General Award.
Academic excellence in English 30-2 went to Jesse Halladay.
Academic excellence in math 30-1 went to Zoe Lorenz, who also won awards for academic excellence in biology 30, chemistry 30 and physics 30. She also won the outstanding female athlete award.
Academic excellence in math 30-2 went to Ryan Gyori.
Minor athletic medallions went to Caitlyn Cumming, Keely Park and Kyle Gerrits.
Major athletic medallions went to Serena Cumming, Chloe Doll, Zoe Lorenz and Kien Bowen, Geran Christiansen, Jason Cumming, Cole Dojahn, Easton Moore and Landon Warren.