Congratulations Sentinel Grad 2020!

June 26, 2020 - 6 minutes read

You can view the Graduation Ceremony highlight video below!

Message to Grads from Mr. Finch, Principal:

What an amazing group of intelligent, talented, and beautiful young people!  Although this year has not ended the way we expected it to, we must not lose sight of the fact that we have been together for five years: working, learning, and playing.

Covid-19, the global pandemic, has proven to be an unprecedented situation in our lifetime.  Although inhibiting, we don’t want it to stand in the way of celebrating all that our students have accomplished through out their high school career. Over the past months we have all had to learn to make adjustments to the way we live, learn, work and do business. But one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to our amazing students.  We take great pride in all that they have accomplished.  Despite disappointment at not being able to deliver our commencement in a traditional manner, we are very excited to showcase our graduates in a different format, and hope you have enjoyed the ceremony.

Carl Jung, a pioneer in the world of Psychology said, “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”

For all of our students, but in particular our Grade 12s, the past months have presented challenges unlike those experienced by any other graduating class.  I cannot begin to express my heartfelt disappointment for the manner in which your high school experience has ended.  But in true Spartan form, you have risen to the occasion to face adversity head on.

Graduates, you have heard many times about what it means to be a Spartan.  You have come to recognize the foundation of our school values in the words GRIT, UNDERSTANDING, ACTION, RESPECT, DECISION MAKING, and SPIRIT.  I believe it is the acquisition of these skills and inculcation of these values that will benefit you when you leave to pursue future endeavours through your passions and interests.  It is also through resilience and perseverance that you will keep moving forward.

Your resilience and perseverance epitomize the GRIT needed when there seems to be no solution.  They compel you to seek clarification and UNDERSTANDING in order to question the norms and challenge the status quo – Why are we doing things this way? or How could we do things differently?  They force you to take ACTION, and RESPECT the many influences that guide you to think critically, communicate effectively, and make thoughtful, educated DECISIONS.  Ultimately, your resilience and perseverance create a SPIRIT that inspires and lifts you up.  You learn from within that you are the only one who has the power and responsibility to determine your course of action.  The reality: life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we just get stronger and more resilient.  As the author, Elizabeth Edwards said:

Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing, you can scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept it and try to put together something that’s good.”

Graduates, I know you will continue to make a difference, and for the contributions you have made and are likely to make… we are grateful!

To the parents and families, I want to commend you on the many hours you have provided supporting your children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, and friends to arrive at this great day.  The class of 2020 is incredibly successful and that is, due in large part, to the sacrifice and effort that you put forward, so this is a special day for you as well.

I would like to take a moment to thank the dedicated and caring staff of Sentinel for the energy and time they invest in our students. The unique connections they develop and the engaging programs they deliver in and out of the classroom, create a safe and caring learning community, and make Sentinel a place that students love.

And finally to our Graduates, congratulations on all of your achievements.  Each of you has demonstrated the GRIT, UNDERSTANDING, ACTION, RESPECT, sound DECISIONS AND SPIRIT that embody the true meaning of being a SPARTAN.

In closing I want to leave you with Four beautiful thoughts of life:
Look back and get Experience!
Look forward and see Hope!
Look around and find Reality!
Look within and find your Self.

And in the words of a fearless heroine whom we have all come to know and admire throughout this pandemic, Dr. Bonnie Henry:  Be kind, be calm and be safe.