2019 Graduation and Awards Ceremony

Unity was the overwhelming sentiment at the joyous 2019 Chisholm Academy Graduation on June 20 at Noble Hall in Oakville.

Together with their family, friends and teachers, seventeen Grade-8 graduates and nineteen Grade-12 graduates were honoured for their achievement. Everyone celebrated the supporters that helped them reach their academic and social goals.

Grade 12 co-valedictorians Abigail and Jocelyn recognized the inspiration of their fellow students, teachers, friends and family, especially parents and guardians, on the journey to graduation.

“Thank you . . . for always believing in us and refusing to accept the boxes that many of us were put into,” said Abigail. “This is your day too. We made it! We did it!”

Jocelyn described the Grade 12s as “an absolute unit” and “a safety net of trust and friendship.” 

“You’ve all shown leadership and growth, and our last few weeks have displayed our teamwork as a class, as school comes to a close,” she said.

Principal Dino Crapsi saluted all the graduates for their achievements and their embrace of academic, technical and personal skills. Many students availed themselves of learning within a rich offering of new Chisholm courses including computer studies, computer engineering, communication technology and music (guitar).

“This speaks to the need for you to understand that you must adopt an attitude of continual learning and improvement as you continue your path into your future,” Mr. Crapsi emphasized. 

Also thinking about future learning was the Grade-8 valedictorian, Danya. With humour and style, she thanked her fellow students for their friendship and all of the parents for their support and encouragement.

“I am happy for all the change that has come because of my time here at Chisholm,” Danya said. “Every experience has helped me become the individual that I am today: I am more confident, I love school so much more, and I feel prepared to learn and embark on my journey to high school.”

Vice-Principal Sylvia Moyssakos encouraged the Grade-8 graduates to be confident in themselves and to move forward with the support of others.

“As you complete Elementary School and prepare for High School, you will have many new and exciting experiences, some that you are looking forward to, and some that you may be a bit nervous about,” she said. 

“You will also encounter many challenges and uncertainty along your journeys.  No matter what, I encourage you all to identify what’s important to you, move ahead with calmness and determination, take on new challenges with confidence, make meaningful connections with people around you, and be compassionate and supportive of others.”

Numerous awards were handed out to recognize students who showed consistent effort and excellence in areas as diverse as art, music, drama, spirit, volunteering, athleticism, leadership and overall achievement by grade. For his positivity, compassion and sincerity, Andrew received the Janet Seberras Award, the highest honour for a Chisholm student.

Then, in the timeless ceremony of graduation, time stood still. With emotion and heartfelt tears of joy, Executive Director Dr. Howard Bernstein presented a special surprise award for courage to Grade-8 student Kevin for his valiant, and successful, battle against osteosarcoma, a bone cancer in his upper left arm. Led by his heroic parents Susan and Jeff, young Kevin received a standing ovation and thunderous applause from every person in attendance.

Dr. Bernstein described Kevin’s award as the highest honour ever given at Chisholm, and one he hoped would never have to be presented again.

After the presentation of graduation diplomas and closing remarks, the 2019 Chisholm Graduation Ceremony closed with Dr. Bernstein leading the traditional tossing of the Grade-12 caps high into the air.

A sense of joyful accomplishment permeated the hall as graduates received a final applause in recognition of attaining this important rite of passage. The Grade-12 co-valedictorians reflected on the promise of youth and the preservation of unity going forward. 

Jocelyn: “This heartfelt goodbye should not symbolize an end but the beginning of our youth as aspiring adults as we face many challenges to come.”

Abigail: “We came, we persevered, we conquered.  And just like that, a group of champions was born. Congratulations!”