It seems that the BA convocation in the first week of June has now become the start of the various local scholastic events for the past several years now as the place to be, and, again, Beurling Academy pulled out the stops to honor those who are just about to complete their next stage of their young lives as they get ready for CEGEP or going into the workforce.

Beurling Academy, on June 7 th , held their special evening to honor all those about to complete this phase in their young lives and to salute the Class of 2012. The school also recognized those outstanding individuals who achieved lofty plateaus.

The evening began with the ceremonial entrance procession of invited guests followed by the honored grads who were led in by the always popular piper. After the national anthem, and invocation by William Grant, the evening began with the welcome address by Principal David Abracen. Mr. Abracen, along with his best wishes and words of good luck to the grads, also praised their fundraising for prom night and for the many initiatives in various projects proposed by the senior student council.

A familiar person to the BA community was the guest speaker. Miss Debi Dixon, who became a Vice-Principal at Riverdale High last year, spoke to the students and encouraged them to believe in themselves, invoking the BA motto of Believe and Succeed with her always fun humor, not knowing if she’s serious or not.

The valedictorian was someone very familiar to this column, and not a big surprise to this writer. Destini Maighan was the choice of her fellow students, and talked about many of the events during the past year. She also recalled her being called in to the Principal’s office to be given the good news but before thinking about what she might have done wrong, getting a nice chuckle from all of us in the audience, which always seems to be the standard thought amongst those getting the call to see the man.

As we have said on several occasions, these events always seem to produce big winners earning every award in sight and deservedly so. This year, was no exception, as student Astik Patel picked up an amazing 12 awards and certificates including 5 in subject proficiency in big subjects.

Astik also picked up the two biggies, being the Governor-General’s Award and the LBPSB Gold Medal, to go along with the McGill Science Award, the R. Eggleton Applied Science Award, and the U of T National Book Award. Astik’s 12 awards ties the mark set by Roop Sekhon who set that mark in the 2010 convocation.

TJ Vaudry-Reed was another big winner as well with 6 awards and certificates, including the LBPSB Silver Medal and the Harvard Prize Book Award. TJ, as some of you might have read about in a past column regarding another event, was also given the bronze award by the Quebec Lt.-Governor in a gala evening in early May, along with fellow student Audrey Beauregard.

Audrey, along with Priya Patel, each picked up 4 awards and certificates, including the Birks Bronze and Silver Medals respectively.

These above named students are just some of the eamples who I wouldn’t mind having on my Reach for the Top team challenging top dogs in any private school. They are fine examples of one getting a fine education in the public system, so feel free to let the good folks know about this at the Fraser Institute. To those of you who are fans of the private system, I look forward to your cards and letters.

The evening, though, also featured many other students who picked up two and three awards which showed the diversity of the group this year, seeing 140 students cross the floor. Tishawna Callender formally closed the evening with a heartfelt emotional tribute in song to her fellow students but could not get through it all breaking down with emotion.

The evening ended with the customary throwing of the grad hats in the air as Principal Abracen announced to the crowd, “ This your Class of 2012”, which was followed by a reception in the cafeteria and the chance to take some family pictures for one last time at the school where they attended for 5 years. The Verdun Messenger would also like to take this opportunity to extend our best wishes to the Class of 2012 and the best of luck in their future endeavors

Elementary Grads

We also would like to send best wishes to the little ones of our two elementary schools. On Wednesday, June 20th, Verdun Elementary will hold their grad evening for the grade 6 students with Riverview having their event on the following evening. Both events will be held in the auditorium at Beurling Academy to accommodate larger crowds.

Happy summer

And on this note, we would like to thank all our awesome readers for their always wonderful loyalty, and to all those in our three local schools from the administrators to the teachers and to the students who contributed various bits of info through the year and for providing several moments that provided for great moments to write about.

Next year, will be a special year for all schools as BA and VE will be celebrating their 10th anniversary and Riverview, next year will turn 85 years old having opened in 1928.

To everybody in the Verdun community, whatever you’re doing, whether you’re just going to hang out in town, work in a summer job, go on a trip that you always wanted to make, or even travel across this great nation of ours, do enjoy every moment, but do it safely. Have a safe and happy summer!

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