Posted on 13 June 2012 by Keith Lacey
The 2012 graduating class of Osoyoos Secondary School were urged by teachers, administrators and dignitaries to live their lives and choose their careers based on passion and not simply to make big money or earn a paycheque during a memorable graduation ceremony Saturday morning.
The 48 graduates looked splendid and were smiling ear-to-ear as they gathered together for a day many will remember for the rest of their lives. Decked out in traditional mortar board caps and robes, the four dozen graduates were honoured by a packed house of several hundred people in the gymnasium at OSS before picking up their high school diplomas from principal Glen Heinrichs.
The great British songwriter Graham Parker once wrote a terrific tune called “Passion is No Ordinary Word” and it came to mind Saturday as the graduates were told they will only find true meaning in life if they chose a career they are passionate about and spread that passion to their daily lives.
“Work hard and follow your dreams and never give up in life,” said School District 53 board of trustees chair Marieze Tarr. “Let your passion in life lead to your vision … and fill your life with many worthwhile experiences and adventures.
“As Steve Jobs said … as with all matters of the heart, live your life with passion and you will know what you’re supposed to do when you find it.”
By the time you graduate from high school, you might not necessarily know what you want to do in terms of post-secondary education or a career, but you should know that you have earned the right to be respected as young adults ready to take on the world, said Tarr.
“Find strength in the fact you are all important and significant,” she said. “Make peace with who you are … some of us have crooked noses and some of us are tall and others are short, but embrace your differences.
“True peace and happiness comes from within. Remember to work hard and be kind and amazing things will happen in your life.”
Becoming a high school graduate takes a lot of hard work and effort and all 48 graduates should be exceptionally proud of this achievement and moving on to the next step in their lives, said Tarr.
“We are all here today to let you know we are very, very proud of you and you are now young ladies and gentlemen who are ready to take on the world,” she said.
None of the graduates could have got to this point in their life without the endless and unconditional love of their parents, said Tarr.
“When you look back at your life so far, I hope you look at your parents and thank them for all of the hard work and sacrifices they have made for you,” she said. “Your parents love you more than you will ever know even though you might not realize this until you get a little older and become parents yourself.”
Osoyoos Mayor Stu Wells again urged the students to pursue post-secondary education and careers they are passionate about.
“If you find something you are passionate about, you will truly never have to work another day in your life,” he said. “Whatever you decide to do with your life, do it with passion.”
Becoming a graduate is an accomplishment to be tremendously proud of and presents a great milestone as these young people not only graduate from high school, but also from teenager to young adult, said Wells.
“This is one of those special days when we see you reach a very important milestone,” he said. “This school has done a great job of preparing you for the future … now it’s up to you to become the decision makers, policy setters and politicians for future generations.”
Veteran teacher Peter Gajda gave the keynote address and applauded the graduates for putting in hard work over the past five years inside and outside the classroom.
“As we sit here now I hope you can look back and ask, ‘did you take advantage of all this school has to offer’ … I think most of you can say you did.”
Once again, Gajda told the students to live their lives and follow careers with passion.
“Go out and find your passion in life,” he said.
Life flies by so quickly, so get out and enjoy all it has to offer, said Gajda.
“Never lose your sense of humour because laughter keeps us all sane,” he said.
The highlight of the ceremony was a video tribute to the graduates that involved showing each of them in baby pictures.
Using sophisticated software, the baby pictures morphed into a second picture of each of them as youngsters and then finally into their final grad photos.