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WITH SLIDESHOW: Tantramar Regional High School grads encouraged to embrace adventures awaiting them

SACKVILLE, N.B. – As Tantramar Regional High School’s Class of 2017 crossed the stage of Convocation Hall on Saturday, they were encouraged to embrace the adventures that lie ahead as they get ready to forge their own path in the world.

“We are at a turning point in our lives,” valedictorian Max Beaver told his classmates during Saturday morning’s graduation ceremony. “So what’s next?”

Beaver said with so many options available to students, and so much say in choosing their own future direction, the Class of 2017 has limitless opportunities.

“I encourage all of you to hit the ground running . . . embrace it, because we can’t go back now,” he said.

Jonna Brewer, who served as guest speaker for the graduation ceremony, told the students to trust their inner voice as they head out into the world, whether or not they’ve already chosen a career path.

“Only you really know you,” said Brewer, a Titan alumnus from the Class of ’83 and now host of CBC’s Information Morning. “Trust in that and you’ll figure it all out.”

She also told the graduates to continue to be the voices of empathy, kindness and compassion in a world that can sometimes be marred by hate, bullying and intolerance. She praised the students for their visit to the Drew Nursing Home residents on prom night, something that has become an annual tradition for graduates before they head to their grand march.

“Keep showing that good in the world, it needs more of it.”

Brewer left the students with these tidbits of advice: “Dream big. Work hard, Be kind. And be happy being yourself.”

TRHS principal Susan Lafford said the graduates have a lot to celebrate and be proud of in this “milestone moment.”

Taking part in everything from the Dragonboat races to school dances, the Wizard of Oz production to casino nights, critter dipping, field trips and so much more, the 110 graduating students have made many lasting memories and built valuable friendships throughout their high school years.

She said it’s been a pleasure watching the students grow into capable and caring young adults and she knows they are more than ready to move on to the next stage of their lives.

“I feel confident you are ready to leave the ‘little school on the marsh.’ You are headed for great adventures,” said Lafford.

“Although nobody knows exactly what lies ahead or where your choices will lead you . . . I do know, however, you will each leave your own distinct mark on the world.”

Lafford paid tribute to Chad Alder, a student who was killed in a car accident in 2015 and would have been a member of the Class of 2017, with a moment of silence during the ceremony.

“Chad will forever have a special place in our hearts and his smile will never be forgotten,” she said.

More than $182,000 in scholarships and bursaries were handed out during the ceremony, as well as a number of other prestigious awards.

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