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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Colchester North valedictorian ready for online graduation

by Sylene Argent - photos submitted

When grade eight Colchester North Public School student Alexa Soucie found out she was selected to be the class valedictorian of her graduating class, she was elated as this was a role she has striven to obtain since the beginning of the schoolyear.

  Throughout the schoolyear, in order to obtain the award, Soucie tried her best to keep her grades up and followed the success criteria as part of the class curriculum. She also wrote her speech early on and had it reviewed by several individuals. 

  “I read it almost every night, just to create fluency, that type of thing, before I submitted it,” Soucie said.


Photo of Alexa Soucie

Her teacher, Mr. Klassen, had all the students write a speech as an assignment. From there, he chose a few students to be in the running for the position of class valedictorian. The finalists read it to the class during an online call, and the students voted for their favourite. Teachers also had some input on selecting the winner.

  “I was very grateful. I wanted it very badly,” Soucie said of learning she earned the role that will entrust her to send her classmates off to secondary school.

  Soucie, who will attend Villanova in the fall, focused on cherishing memories, such as past field trips, as the theme of her speech. In addition, she also wrote about the transition from grade eight to grade nine, and moving on into a brighter future.

  She will pre-record her speech, and it will be added to a graduation video that will be complete with the announcement of subject awards and words of wisdom and congratulations from their teachers and administrators. This video will be accessible to her classmates this week. “I think it will be really exciting,” she said to being able to see that graduation video.

  In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Soucie said she was pleased to learn her school was compiling a grad video for its grade eight students. She was not worried about losing some kind of celebration for graduation, knowing her school would find a way to celebrate it.

  She knows some of her peers have chosen to attend different high schools, and that will be, “An exciting, different experience. I think we will all do pretty well wherever we go. I just wish everybody the best.”

  She said the COVID-19 pandemic has created some difficulty when it comes to learning over the past few months. There are class calls and her peers are keeping in touch the best they can.

  “It has definitely been a different experience being at home, away from people, not studying in class, not having a teacher at the whiteboard talking to us,” she said.

  Overall, Soucie said attending Colchester North was a great experience. The students, teachers, and sports teams are what made her elementary school days so memorable, in addition to the field trips and school-wide events.

  Soucie – who played on the volleyball, basketball, and baseball teams – said she will miss participating in sports the most, and accomplishing success with her teammates. “We really came together,” she said. She also enjoyed being a part of the group that provided art for the annual play.

  In the classroom, she especially enjoyed taking art class to perfect her painting and drawing skills, in addition to taking on math challenges. She said she always seemed to have a good understanding of math, but also enjoys tackling tough equations.  

  Grade eight teacher, Kevin Klassen, said this year’s class was a lot of fun to teach. “They worked hard in the classroom and had a great sense of humour. Many of them demonstrated resilience and determination during our remote learning.”

  He wished all the graduates all the best in their first year of high school and beyond.

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