“Four years ago, we all walked through the doors of Seaway District High School, not knowing which way to go, or where we would fit in,” said the 2013 SDHS valedictorian, Vicki VanHoof.
She was addressing 63 fellow graduates in the beautifully decorated school gymnasium, before a packed audience. VanHoof recalled teachers, classrooms, assignments, assemblies, sports and special extra curricular events (like Hay Day), describing how they brought everyone together.
“Regardless of where we came from, we were all willing to make new friends, and to become a new Spartan family.” Four years later, “I am standing here before you looking into our futures, seeing that we have many obstacles to overcome, many dreams yet to fulfill…but being a Spartan has taught us never to give up…”
For the grads and the community, this was a joyous and slightly nostalgic commencement. This is the final one which Seaway will hold in the fall.
Beginning in 2014, in order to “facilitate student attendance at graduation exercises and to align our practice with other schools in the Upper Canada District School Board” Seaway will be holding the ceremony in June SDHS principal, Terry Gardiner, informed the community in July, 2013.
The South Dundas community, as always, was extremely generous to its 2013 graduates.
Emcees for the graduation ceremony, teachers Sharon Last and Jeff Crooke, estimate that awards, bursaries and scholarships totalling more than $40,000 were presented to the graduating class.
Vicki VanHoof brought laughter to the last fall graduation ceremony at Seaway, when she ended her valedictory address with the words of Dr. Seuss:
“You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes,
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You are on your own,
And you know what you know,
And you are the one who will decide where to go…”