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Thank You Delta Community

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Thank You Delta Community

My time at Delta was short, however the learning I acquired will last me a lifetime.  Thank you for a great year of connections and the opportunity to call Delta home.  As some of you may know, I am moving this Fall to the Education Centre as Principal of Student Success.  This role will provide me new opportunities to learn about system initiatives and experiences that will impact students not only in the Delta community, but across the district.

As I depart, I am pleased to announce that Angela Ferguson will be taking over as Principal.  Previously, she was a Principal at Westmount Secondary.  I know that everyone will be impressed by her commitment to student achievement and well-being as well as her passion for co-learning.

I have included below my Graduation Speech that I delivered to our 2018 Graduates.  Much of what I said can be applied to the entire student body and staff, as I was impressed with the culture of care and environment that exists at Delta.  Thank you for striving to be the best and for creating the conditions to excel!

See you soon,

Mr. Graham

 

Graduation Speech – Class of 2018

Good evening and welcome parents, guardians, grandparents, family members and teachers and staff members to Delta’s Graduation.  I am glad you are able to join us today to celebrate our graduates, our class of 2018.  Thank you to our distinguished guests, Trustee Ray Mulholland, Trustee Larry Pattison and Superintendent Sue Dunlop for joining us in our celebration.  Thank you parents and guardians for all you have done to lead up to this day – for it is through your support & guidance that we are here!

It is my pleasure and honour as Principal of this historic and dynamic school to welcome you to the 94th graduation ceremony of Delta Secondary School.  My name is Kevin Graham and I am your proud Principal.  I am joined on stage by our two fantastic Vice Principals; Ms. Sonya Sykes and Mr. Jeff Thomas.  I would also like to draw special attention to our staff, who have put in countless hours of time and energy helping to prepare the students in front of us to enter an exciting and ever-changing world.  Our teachers are definitely the best!  When I arrived last Fall, I was blown away by the support and dedication the staff bring to this school community as it is unmatched in this city!

Finally, I would like to recognize our Graduation team who have helped to put on this beautiful celebration today – Trish Wilson, Greg Corey, Helen Youn, Nancy Millar, Roseann Ruggieri, Angela Barbati, Deb Bates, out Custodian staff and for our Office Administrator Sharon Slater for all of her work behind the scenes.  On behalf of everyone here this afternoon, thank you!

As I stand here in front of our graduates, I am proud of the accomplishments this group has achieved.  For many, they left the comfortable surroundings of only a few hundred students in their elementary schools, only to be greeted by over 700 energetic high school students. I am sure that as you reflect back, you will see that transitions such as those have helped to prepare you for your next journey into adulthood.

A positive school climate is important for the success of students in school.  We pride ourselves at Delta for having a school community that respects one another, supports one another, and challenges each other to be the best.  This year’s group of graduating students have pushed each other to be successful in the classroom, as well as outside. We wouldn’t be a strong community without your contribution, whether small or large.

On this beautiful afternoon we have gathered to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments and successes of the students today.  We are all proud of you and are thrilled to have had a chance to make an impact in your life.  Parents and Guardians, I’m sure you are proud as well, knowing that your efforts, have helped them to get to this position.  As a school, we are only one part of the equation.  It takes the support from home to get your loved one across this stage.  Thank you for your continued support.  You deserve congratulations as well!

Thank you to our outstanding staff and community volunteers who have helped to create these memories.  I know that these relationships and bonds are an important ingredient for student success as school extends beyond curriculum and helps to foster responsible, mature and respectful citizens.

Led by a dynamic Student Council, we have seen a student body respond and get involved to help create a positive school culture.  Whether it was pyjama day, Halloween pumpkin carving, spirit weeks or the Student-Teacher basketball game, their devotion for making Delta an inviting place to be was very evident.

Once again, our extra-curricular activities showed the rest of the district, the skills and grace that Delta has as we competed against other students.  Thank you to all the coaches and supervisors who continue to promote fair play, respect and compassion.  Your work raises self-confidence and maturity among our students.  We could not have done it without you!

Graduation is a time of celebration and reflection.  It forces us to look back on the last four/five years and celebrate those accomplishments.  It also forces us to embark into a new world of change.  Change can either be predicted or it can catch you off guard.  In my opinion, it is what you don’t see that makes it hard to adjust to.  Fortunately, over the last four/five years, you have been exposed to many tools that will help you deal with change in order to predict what might happen, and therefore when change occurs, you will be prepared.  In life, there are many variables and contributors that make it hard to predict outcomes.  This is what makes change both complex and exciting.

When you look back, did you finish your journey the way you thought you would at the beginning?  Probably not.  It is because of the experiences and learning we go through that make us who we are today.  We just hope that along the way, we keep as many options and doors open for us to explore later.  My challenge to all of you is to continue your legacy, and make a lasting impact on those around you. 

Congratulations on opening a very valuable door – a door filled with education and promise.  Your next step – walk through and discover your next amazing and limitless transition; a world bigger than the 700 students at Delta.

Each of you should be proud to be a part of the Delta community.  We are very fortunate to belong to a school community that prides itself on tradition, high expectations and most of all, heart.  Best wishes to our graduates as they finish at Delta and get ready for new challenges.  For those returning next year, please continue our traditions and push those around you to achieve them. 

Thank you for bringing me into your family this year.  I have been honoured to be your Principal and will forever call myself a Red Raider as I move on next year as well.

Keep striving for what you believe in, and regardless of the outcome and change, you will learn something and reflect on your results.

Good luck, and congratulations to Delta’s Graduating class of 2018.

Updated on Thursday, July 05, 2018.
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