Since they were unable to make their speeches in front of all of their classmates, friends and family, we asked valedictorians — and one class historian — from south Island schools to share them with us. This is an excerpt from one of the submissions.
Nicklaus Badyal, valedictorian, Frances Kelsey Secondary, Mill Bay
When I look at our class, I genuinely feel confident in our future. I don’t mean to brag, but I think we might be one of the best classes in Kelsey history.
Our class is filled with some of the most diverse, talented and intelligent people I know, which is definitely no secret to the teachers, either. Sometimes, we like to give you guys a hard time, yet I think we all look up to you in one way or another. The life lessons you taught will surely stick with us. We are no longer the immature kids you used to know, well, most of us aren’t, anyway!
Thank you on behalf of our class for sticking with us and trying so hard through a pandemic. I do not want to dwell on the fact that our graduation was unfortunately cut short due to COVID-19, but I will say this — all of us took on the huge challenge of adapting to online classes in the best ways possible. We pushed through the lack of motivation and self-doubt to come out on top.
Our grad will be immortalized in history, which means so will we. Every single one of you deserves more than this, but I commend you for doing everything you can to make it a good year. Let us make the best of this summer and the years to follow. Wherever you end up, in any form of career, I know each and everyone of you has what it takes to be a leader. I wish you all success. Continue to laugh, celebrate as if you will never be able to leave your house the next day for a year, treat everything like it’s due tomorrow, and don’t ever forget the Kelsey grind.