Graduation time for ARHS Class of 2013
© Thomas Becker - Amherst Daily News
Michael Patterson, Gillian Moore, Peter Woo and Emily Pipes celebrate their accomplishments on the morning of graduation day.
AMHERST - Memories and life experiences are what most graduates will take away from Amherst Regional High School.
“Remember the math class paper ball fight?” outgoing student council president, Gillian Moore whispered to fellow graduates Peter Woo, Michael Patterson and Emily Pipes as they began to chuckle.
It was the last day before Christmas break in Mr. Collins’ advanced math class where chaos ensued. Fun chaos that is.
Two teams were created and barricades were formed as paper balls were being thrown across the classroom as Mr. Collins sat there marking papers.
“That’s something I’ll never forget,” Woo said.
Becoming student council president for Moore, the successes of the school clubs, including the revival of the school’s hockey team for Patterson and a trip to Boston with the band for Pipes, were all memories they shared.
It’s memories like these the 145 members of the school’s class of 2013 will take with them well after receiving their diplomas at ARHS.
During last night’s graduation ceremonies, Moore accepted the Birk’s Medal for leadership in student affairs while Shannon Benjamin received the Governor General’s Medal that’s presented to the graduating student with the highest academic average in the final two year of school.
Grade 11 students Adrien Van Vulpen and Renee Cole accepted the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for demonstrating qualities of leadership and service to the school and community and performing commendably in the courses they enrolled in.
Patterson, who delivered the valediction, accepted the Queen Elizabeth II Medal that’s presented to the graduate who has demonstrated superior achievement in all three years of high school and has achieved an outstanding record of school and community involvement.
Entering the school as eager teenagers and walking across the stage with the diploma in hand as young adults is simply an end of one journey as a new one awaits.
Still, moving on from a place where you grew so much as a person is no easy task, class valedictorian Patterson said.
“It’s exciting but at the same time it’s a bitter-sweet moment.”
Woo couldn’t agree more.
“It’s nerve-racking because you know you’re moving on to bigger and better things.”
Anticipation and trepidation are some of the feelings Pipes shares with a lot of her fellow graduates post graduation.
“Graduation time is scary but it’s also very exciting, going into the big world, entering university and starting out fresh.”
The students said they’re very appreciative for their time at ARHS that most take for granted shortly after that rolled up piece of paper reaches their hands.
Whether it’s coming out your shell and becoming a go-getter, becoming aware with who you associate yourself with, learning more about yourself as a person, or just being more independent, each and every graduate (whether they admit it or not) will have taken something away from the ARHS experience. Now it’s up to them to figure out how they’ll use that experience outside the high school scene.
“It’s (the ARHS experience) been an insane journey,” Woo said.
In all, these four graduates representing the ARHS Class of 2013 are proud of their accomplishments and the accomplishments of their peers, as they push forward pursuing their dreams and goals.
“It’s kind of sad leaving it all behind, But I’m proud of myself and fellow graduates,” Moore said.
Moving forward Moore and Pipes will study at St. Francis Xavier University where they’ll pursue careers as an elementary school teacher and an addiction counsellor, respectively.
Patterson and Woo will study at Dalhousie University where they’ll pursue careers in pharmacy and neuroscience, respectively.
Visit www.cumberlandnewsnow.com for a complete list of award winners as well as photos and video from the ceremony.
On Twitter: @ADNthomas