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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex District High School graduates looking forward to the future

by Adam Gault

Essex District High School’s 2018 graduates had a lot to celebrate last Wednesday, June 27, as beaming parents, family members, and friends watched on as the senior students received their diplomas during the institution’s 133rd annual convocation.

From the school’s gymnasium, Principal Michael Hawkins, who stepped into the senior administrative role at EDHS four years ago, said it has been an absolute privilege to watch the class of 2018 go from wide-eyed grade nine students to self-assured high school graduates.

“A lot of the time, as principals and vice principals, we get moved around a bit,” Hawkins said. “Once in a while, you get to see one group go through. Knowing that my time at the school may be limited, it’s nice to see a class start and then leave here. Just the growth of this group has been fantastic.”

Even over the relatively brief course of the grade 12 senior year, Principal Hawkins explained he was tremendously impressed by the growth and development in the leadership qualities that many students demonstrated and exemplified throughout the year.

He explained many of the students took on leadership roles in various ways, including outside in the community, with EDHS’s Rotary Interact Club, and though working to garner the Speak Up grant to provide Christmas dinners for families in the community that don’t have as much. “Those things have been fantastic. That they’ve grown with guidance along the way, but it was great to see this year that they just took the bull by the horns.”

The graduating class selected Brendan Doyle as the 2018 valedictorian. He said that although he will miss his time at EDHS, he and many of his classmates look forward to beginning the next chapter in their lives and look toward the future with a sense of excitement and optimism.

“I had a good four years, there’s a lot of great people here who are going to do great things, but I’m excited to do the next thing in life,” Doyle said. “I’m also honoured that my class chose me to be their valedictorian. I really just enjoyed the learning experience here. Because it was a brand-new school, we got to mature with the school in a way.

Doyle sent his classmates off into their futures with a piece of advice. “Since we’re young, now is the best time to make mistakes. So, just try a lot of things now while we’re young and have fun.”


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