Class of 2014 bids farewell at General Amherst’s 92nd annual graduation

 

Trustee Helga Bailey applauds the class of 2014 during last Thursday night’s Amherst graduation at the Libro Centre.

Trustee Helga Bailey applauds the class of 2014 during last Thursday night’s Amherst graduation at the Libro Centre.

Maria Goggin, Jenna Meloche and Melanie Rousseau sing as part of the General Amherst graduation ceremony last Thursday evening at the Libro Centre.

Maria Goggin, Jenna Meloche and Melanie Rousseau sing as part of the General Amherst graduation ceremony last Thursday evening at the Libro Centre.

Valedictorian Eric Parker delivers his address during the 92nd annual General Amherst High School graduation, held June 26 at the Libro Centre.

Valedictorian Eric Parker delivers his address during the 92nd annual General Amherst High School graduation, held June 26 at the Libro Centre.

By Ron Giofu

 

A total of 171 students turned a page in their lives last Thursday night as most bid General Amherst High School farewell.

The class of 2014 was recognized at the 92nd annual graduation ceremony, held at the Libro Centre. With the exception of those returning for a fifth year, most are on their way to a post-secondary education with valedictorian Eric Parker noting their lives are heading in a new direction.

“We made it,” he told his fellow graduates. “When we first arrived at General Amherst, we didn’t know what we were in for.”

Parker said he and his classmates were thankful for the teachers, parents and others who helped get them to that point. He said attending General Amherst was an experience like no other.

“General Amherst is so unique because of the relationships between the students,” he said. “You can go through the halls and know everyone you see.”

Time is the most important thing in life, he believed, and encouraged each of his classmates to experience anything they want. He added that they should “cherish yesterday, live for today and dream about tomorrow.”

Principal Hazel Keefner told the graduates they should continue making a difference in other people’s lives, just as they did when they were at Amherst.

“Don’t give up your Bulldog spirit,” she said.

Keefner added that she wanted the graduates to stay safe and enjoy the journey that life takes them on.

Superintendent of education Lynn McLaughlin told graduates to stay positive as they approach the rest of their lives.

“Negativity breeds negativity,” she said. “Don’t let anyone draw you into that cycle.”

Helga Bailey, the Amherstburg/LaSalle trustee for Greater Essex County District School Board, asked the graduates to make good choices throughout life and to enjoy every step along the way. She wanted students to believe in themselves, believe in each other and believe in their dreams.

“If you don’t think you can do it, you probably won’t do it,” she said.

Bailey was happy to see so many family members and friends support the graduates.

“Everyone in this room is proud of you,” Bailey told the graduates. “Everyone in this room believes in you and the accomplishments you will bring.”

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