Valedictorians looking forward to new experiences

Princess Margaret Secondary valedictorians explain how high school brought them a new perspective on life.

Valedictorians Lexi Grady and Mitch Lavigne ham it up in the prop room at Princess Margaret Secondary School this week. The school’s annual graduation ceremony takes place Wednesday (June 29) at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre at 7 p.m.

High school is not always easy, but for Princess Margaret Secondary’s valedictorians Lexi Grady and Mitch Lavigne, it has been a voyage that not only changed their perspective on life, it also taught them important lessons for their future.

Entering Grade 9 in 2012, they both developed a lot during their high school years.

“When I got here in Grade 9 you couldn’t really call me a model student,” Lavigne said. “My attendance was terrible and I didn’t care about school.”

Now as a grad, he is popular in his class and well known for his humour, politeness and skills in video production and mechanics.

“Mitch has always been a very energetic and creative person and he has the ability to connect people, but over his high school career he has become more mature and more sociable,”  said Lavigne’s English teacher Naryn Searcy.

Lavigne, who attended Searcy’s English First Peoples class in grades 10 and 12 said that Searcy helped him a lot growing personally over the years.

Grady, who has a strong background in leadership and athletics, has opened up to her peers and staff a lot.

“I always tried to get involved with everything that was going on in the school and over the years here I really connected with all staff and students,” she said.

Grady, who took on major roles in the school’s many events and ceremonies, said her goal was always to make the school a better place and to inspire the school community. Leadership teacher and vice principal Sandra Richardson worked with Grady on a lot of these projects.

“Lexi’s confidence has increased a lot and she has developed into a fine young leader with big dreams of changing the world,” said Richardson. “She also deals with issues very compassionately and always has an open ear for her peers.”

Besides all the leadership projects, Grady played a major role in Princess Margaret Secondary’s mental health work and inspires many peers with her determination. After the summer, Grady will move on to Victoria to study business at Camosun College while Lavigne is going to move to Peterborough, Ont., to receive education at Bridgestone Academy as a race mechanic. After their post-secondary education, both valedictorians are hoping to find a career path that suites their interests.

“I will see where life takes me and past that bridge. I hope to get a good career opportunity,” Grady said.

Unlike Grady, Lavigne has clear dreams and wishes for his future.

“I really want to become a race car mechanic because cars are my passion and I’d love to follow this in my career.”

Wednesday at their graduation ceremony Grady and Lavigne will be delivering the speech to the graduating class.

“We mainly focus on our road growing up in the Maggie family and our personal experiences because we believe that high school is an essential part to success in life and a well-developed school community supports this enormously,” Grady said.

Despite a bit of sadness because their high school time is over now, both valedictorians are looking forward to the next parts of their career and are excited for the further journey through life.

Penticton Western News

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