After a challenging two years of hybrid learning, the graduating class of 2022 from École communautaire Réal-Bérard are very excited for today’s celebrations.
School principal, Angèle Comeau says, “This class has been together since kindergarten. They are a very dynamic group that’s just very tight.” She says they are obviously very excited and also relieved that they can have a normal grad. “They are so happy and over the moon that it could be in person again.”
Comeau says they have 15 students graduating this year which is a smaller group than in past years and describes them as a dynamic group of leaders. “They have surpassed our expectations given all the obstacles with all this hybrid learning and online learning. They’re resilient and ready to conquer the world, and we can’t wait to see what they’re going to do.”
When asked how it came that this class would have four Valedictorians, Comeau explains, “Well, that’s different for us. This year we had quite a few people ask to be valedictorian. And like I said, it’s a dynamic group of leaders, so it was hard to pick. They are also just so close-knit that we decided that maybe we would do four this year. Two of them would make a presentation to the students and the other two for their parents. Just to just mix it up, why not? It just shows how tight they are as a group and how close they are. They’re a great group.”
Speaking on behalf of her fellow Valedictorians, Janique Lariviere says the past years of the pandemic have been difficult on them. “We’ve always been around the same group of 15, and we’ve been like 15 best friends for the past 13 years, right? So it was very difficult for us to not see each other every day.”
She says these days “it’s been great making those connections again and now at the end of school just be with each other again. We will never take each other for granted. In fact, we were jumping for joy, really. We’re all pretty glad to be able to get back to normal.”
When describing her fellow grads, Lariviere says that they have been more of an athletic group, always competitive. And because of that, “teachers often found that making games that helped us to learn things was the best way to teach us because we were just so competitive.” She says, their competitiveness has brought them closer as well. Not just in athletics but in academics as well.
Lariviere shares these thoughts with her friends, “Never lose yourselves. Never change yourself for what your future might bring. Be ready for adjustments in your future but also allow change. Allow new friendships and new opportunities, but never change your roots and always stay true to yourselves.”
Meanwhile, Principal Comeau’s words to the grads would be, “Keep being as resilient as you have been. Go out and conquer the world like you did this year. You are all going to do fantastic.”
The valedictorian says of the teaching staff at Ecole Real Berard, “Thank you to all the teachers here throughout our time in high school. Particularly the elementary teachers who have stuck around and helped us out. All of them have made an impact on my life, especially Mr. C.”
There has been a tradition at École communautaire Réal-Bérard that will continue with this graduating class, and that is to plant a tree together. The first tree was planted 11 years ago on the school grounds with the kindergarten class at the time. This year Principal Comeau says there is no more room on the grounds and so, two trees will be planted in the community. One with this year’s kindergarten class and another tree with the graduating class of 2022.