By Sue Tiffin
Published June 28 2018
(See the photo gallery here .)
Emotions were high students were dressed to the nines and the crowd of parents family friends and community members gathered at Archie Stouffer Elementary School’s graduation was so proud they couldn’t resist calling out “that’s my son” “that’s my daughter” “that’s my sister” and “that’s my best friend” as students took to the stage to collect awards and graduate from Grade 8.
“I visit a lot of schools” longtime educator Gary Brohman now Trillium Lakelands District School Board trustee told the crowd. “This is one of the finest in TLDSB.”
He acknowledged the impact of the love from staff and the leadership of students in the school.
“Use that leadership when you get to Hal High” he said. “Work together. Leadership is being active and doing it. Make high school wonderful. Get involved.”
He also reminded parents and grandparents to a room full of giggles “the trials and tribulations you were there once. So be patient.”
Darian Maddock was nominated by his peers as the Class of 2018 valedictorian.
He recalled his first visit to the school in 2011 as a Grade 2 student and held a Toronto Zoo trip as a treasured memory.
“I know we’re all very capable of academic excellence and if you pursue that you’ll exceed all expectations” he told his fellow graduates.
Like many of the other graduates he also made note of the recent Grade 8 graduation trip to Niagara Falls.
“It really stands out to me because it put our unity as a group in the spotlight” he said.
“Bruce Lee said ‘If you love life don’t waste time time is what life is made of’ and I think as a class together we have done just that. These times whether we know it or not have prepared us for the future.”
Maddock said many of the students were nervous about their transition into high school but offered comfort.
“I will be there for you” he promised. “Better yet we will be there for you. Like Helen Keller once put it ‘alone we can do so little but together we can do so much.’”
His speech focused on unity and the power of togetherness.
“If you were to take any wisdom or advice away from my speech it is that as the graduating class of 2018 we will stand as one knowing the person standing next to you will always have your back and never let you down. He who stands alone and confused will never be as successful or powerful as those who stand together in unity … As the graduating class of 2018 we will stand together as we head into Grade 9.“
Grade 8 teachers Dylan Sontag Michelle Kernohan and Jenn Mills recited a poem they had written and called the class a remarkable group of graduates. With a throwback to a legendary ASES teacher they declared “As Mrs. Adams always said ‘we sure grow them good in Minden.’”
Horseshoe Lake Science and Technology Award: Ava Smith Cole Boisvert
Toronto Dominion Canada Trust English Award: Brooke Stover Olivia Johnson
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Math Award: Scott King Ella Moynes
Tim Harrison Memorial Award for Music: Emma Gillam Sophie Sharpless
French Award: Harmony Moher Emma Tidey
Elementary Teacher’s Federation Award – The Arts: Tamara Bellefeuille Emma Thompson
Hugh Thornton Art Award: McKenna Johnston
Minden Hills Museum History Award: Crystal Petry Ben Pilcher
ASES Geography Award: Fiona Higgins Courtney Semach
Arcadia Masonic Lodge Award: Katy Booth
Alan Walker Memorial Award for Citizenship: Brooke Stover
Academic Excellence Award: Ella Moynes
Character Education Award: Jacob Beers
Sarah Bloomfield Award: Darian Maddock
Athletic Sportsmanship Awards: Grace Hudson Ty Mills
Athletic Achievement Award: Darian Maddock Ava Smith
Principal All-Round Student Award: Ava Smith