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Lindsay Thurber graduates prepare to make their mark

'You offer something that no one else has'
Graduation ceremonies were held on May 24, 2024 for École Secondaire Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Lindsay Thurber graduates were recognized for their resilience and perseverance for having started their high school career during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Principal Chris Good said the 411 graduates, who received their diplomas on Friday, started Grade 9 in the fall of 2020 during a time of fear and uncertainty.

"Your high school journey began unlike any other: masks, social distancing, remote learning replaced the usual bustling hallways and crowded classroom, sporting events were called off, dances postponed, and in-person events shifted online," said Good during graduation ceremonies for Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School held at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

"Yet in the face of these obstacles, you embraced change and flourished. You discovered new ways to connect, learn and support one another, showcasing your ability to overcome adversity and achieve great things."

He reminded graduates that they emerged stronger, more adaptable and better equipped to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

Bev Manning, board trustee with Red Deer Public Schools, encouraged graduates to think for themselves in a world of information overload.

"It's coming at you from every angle. Take the time to read and continue learning about the world and its many complex issues. Look for evidence that supports common sense, honesty and integrity and what you know to be true. That evidence will lead you to making good judgements in the future," Manning said. 

She added that they should not forget they were born with a purpose.

"Your life has meaning and you are incredibly valuable, not just to yourself, but to those who love you and to the world. You offer something that no one else has."

Valedictorian Amanda Beasley thanked all the parents, siblings, friends and school staff who came out to celebrate with graduates. 

"We wouldn't be able to stand here today without your guidance, encouragement and support in difficult times. As you have borne witness to our journey through these formative years, I hope you can say that your as proud of us as we are of ourselves for taking on and completing this challenge," Beasley said. 

"I hope that we can continue to make you proud as we start to explore life beyond our high school walls."

Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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