Seventy-one students sent on their way at RMS grad

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

One of Slave Lake’s bigger gala events of June is the graduation ceremony for Roland Michener Secondary School students who have successfully completed their high school studies. This year’s crop of grads numbered just over 70. They were given their formal send-off at The Gathering Place in Slave Lake, on June 22.

Girls outnumbered boys in the group by a bigger margin than usual. They pretty much swept the scholarships as well, and showed up very strongly in the academic awards that were announced as part of the ceremony. The stars of the show, academically and otherwise, were class valedictorian Julia Knutson, Dahlia Al Mais and Madyson Engebretson, whose names came up again and again.

Another interesting aspect of Grad 2024 involving the female members of the class was the unusually large number of them who plan to go into the trades. Asked about it later, Principal Kris Herbert said he also noticed it, and had already seen a higher-than-usual number of females signed up for the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

Here’s a list of the scholarship winners – a list that keeps getting longer, as more scholarships are added over the years. A brand new one this year, for example, was set up by the 2023 grad class, which raised a lot more money than it needed for grad expenses. The first-ever winner is Brooke Emes.

Al-Mais, Knutson and Engebretson garnered a good three quarters of all the scholarships. Knutson led the way with 12. Engebretson scooped up seven and Al Mais six.

Other scholarship winners were Kayla Lucas (four), Brooke Emes, Sharlee Samuelson (three), Mica Castillo, Sidney Emes and Drayder Pearson.

Former Michener drama teacher Ryan Haines came all the way from Calgary to give a special message to the graduates (they’d chosen him for the privilege). He talked about some of the members of his family of earlier generations who had provided him with valuable life lessons.

“Be passionate about your work,” he urged the graduates. “Good or bad, we’re all just stories in the end.”

Knutson delivered the valedictory address, on behalf of her graduating class. It’s not the mistakes you make that define you, she said, “but how you learn from them.”

Knutson plans to study sciences at the University of Alberta.

Graduates Dahlia Al Mais, Julia Knutson and Madyson Engebretson (second, third and fourth from the left) pose with three of the 26 scholarships they won. On the left is presenter Lisa Gall, for the Slave Lake Petroleum Association.
The ceremony started off with the Promenade of Graduates, some of whom were all smiles. Pictured are Brooke Emes (in front) and Sydney Emes.

The big toss

Graduates ended the formal part of the ceremony with the traditional hat toss.
Principal Kristoffer Herbert presents graduate Alexandra Davis with her diploma.

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