Life more lively than stories in a book

Valedictorian tells 12 graduates to define their own path

Dave Mathieson webcomments@ngnews.ca
Published on June 28, 2014
Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Summer-Joy Upshaw gave the valedictorian address for the River Hebert Graduation Class of 2014. Also in the photo is Alan LeBlanc, and Adrianna MacIntosh. RHDHS is currently under construction, so the graduation ceremony was held at the St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Joggins. 

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

: Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

The 2014 RHDHS graduates of 2014 are: (front, from left) Daniel Buboire, Morgan Brine, Adrianna MacIntosh, Taylor Brundage, (middle, from left) Brandon VanSnick, Dylan Ellsworth, Adriaana Michels, Jacqlyn McIver, Alan LeBlanc, (back, from left) Tyler Thomas, Summer-Joy Upshaw, and Connor Hurley.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

: Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Graduates make their way into the church for the ceremony.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

: Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

The graduates sit in front of family and friends.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

The guest speaker was Retired Captain Lynda Boyd.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Vernon Taylor, principal at RHDHS, handed out certificates of graduation to the 12 graduates, including to Dylan Ellsworth.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

The graduates jostelled and bumped each other as they shifted to new seats during the ceremony.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Adrianna MacIntosh (left) and Jacqlyn McIver.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Daniel Buboire waves upon reception of his certificate.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Upshaw gives the valedictorian address.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Taylor Brundage receives an award.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Summer-Joy Upshaw receives and award.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Vernon Taylor jokes with the graduates.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Connor Hurley gave a family member a hug after the ceremony.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Jacqlyn McIver gets pictures taken with family and friends.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

And so did Taylor Brundage...

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Andrianna MacIntosh gets her photo taken.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

The graduates threw their Motarboards into the air.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Upshaw with family.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Students, teachers and faculty gather together for a photo.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

The sun starts to set over the Joggins Fossil Cliffs as students, teachers and faculty get ready for a photo.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

Photos are taken before the sun sets.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

Life is much more lively than chapters in a book

Published on 28 June 2014

The graduation took place in St. Thomas Aquinas Church.

Photos by Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now

JOGGINS – Life is not a book where stories flow seamlessly from one chapter to the next.

“Chapters can be ripped out. We, as one, are dynamic,” said Summer-Joy Upshaw, valedictorian for the River Hebert District High School graduating class of 2014.

Upshaw said the dynamism inside each of the 12 RHDHS graduates defies labels.

“There was always that one person who would step up to the plate and put a label on us,” said Upshaw. “That should not have been the case. The worst thing you can do in life is let someone else define you.

"You know who you are, you know what your parents taught you to be," she added. "You know what God says you are, which is precious, and perfect, and valuable."

She warned her classmates not to conform to definitions set by others.

“You shouldn’t feel pressure to conform, you should feel more than happy to stand out and construct your own path,” said Upshaw. “Stop trying to define the norms, and live an authentic life.”

And she said it’s okay for her fellow graduates to make mistakes, and okay for them to change their minds.

“But as we stand here tonight, just finding our feet, we will continue to write our story,” she added. “And one day our stories will become memories and we’ll all become parents and grandparents, but in this moment, these moments are not stories, this is real, and happening."

Upshaw thanked her teachers at RHDHS and the people in River Hebert for helping shape who she is, and she finished by thanking her mom.

“Ma, if you fast forwarded to this day and showed me how I was going to succeed, I would have thanked you,” she said. “I would have thanked you for believing in me and shaping me into the woman I am today because, whether you like it or not, I am a woman...”

Upshaw receive close to 30 awards and scholarships during the ceremony, including the Governor General’s Medal Award. Other major award winners included Morgan Brine who received the Queen Elizabeth II Medal.

– Close to a total of $50,000 in awards and scholarships were presented to the 12 graduates.

The 12 recipients, their awards and what they received are as follow:

(Where they are going to school next is in brackets)

MORGAN BRINE:  

(Mount St Vincent BA - Child & Youth Study) ($1,980)

Year Book Award

Student Council Award

S.A.V.E. Award

Joggins fire Department ($75)

Edwards ($500)

Family Proctor ($100)

Freemasons ($500)

Legion #4 ($100)

Co-op ($50)

Physics ($50)

3rd Place ($30)

Grade 12 Honours

Board Honours with D

QEII Medal

RHDH Proctor ($150)

Fife/Moran ($425)

 

TAYLOY BRUNDAGE:

(Mount A – BA) ($1,203.33)

Legion #14 ($200)

Joggins fire Department ($75)

Co-op ($50)

RH Village Commission ($300)

South Liberal ($100)

Brine ($50)

Cochrane ($200)

Stay in School ($228.33)

 

 

DANIEL BUBOIRE:

(Mount St Vincent - BSc) ($1,228.33)

South Conservative ($100)

NSSAF Award

Legion #14 ($100)

Co-op ($50)

River Hebert Fire ($100)

RH Village Commission ($300)

Dr. Boo ($200)

Stay in School ($228.33)

Fife/Moran ($150)

 

ADRIANA MACINTIOSH:

Joggins fire Department ($75)

Johnston ($100)

Legion #4 ($100)

Co-op ($50)

Dora ($400)

French Oral Proficiency

French Honours

Stay in School ($228.33)

 

JACQLYN MCIVER:

(Saint Mary’s - BSc) ($2,450)

Perfect attendance ($10)

Legion #14 ($200)

Legion #14 Ladies ($200)

Math ($50)

RH Home & School ($100)

Child & Youth ($500)

Co-op ($50)

River Hebert Fire ($100)

RH Village Commission ($300)

French Oral Proficiency

French Honours

2nd Place ($40)

Grade 12 Honours

Board Honours with D

Joggins ($200)

Poly Cello ($500)

Fife/Moran ($200)

 

ADRIAANA MICHELS

(Mount A - BA) ($6020)

U of T Book

Joggins Fire Department ($75)

Global Award ($50)

Legion #4 ($100)

Co-op ($50)

African ($4500)

International ($50)

English Award ($50)

French Oral Proficiency

French Honours

4th Place ($20)

Grade 12 Honours

Board Honours

Dr. Boo ($200)

Municipality ($500)

Fife/Moran ($425)

 

SUMMER–JOY UPSHAW:

(ST FX - BSc)  ($8,060)

Year Book Award                                      

Valedictorian

NSSAF Award

Perfect attendance ($10)

Perfect attendance 7-12 ($50)

Student Council Award

S.A.V.E. Award

Legion #14 ($100)

Credit Union ($1,000)

African ($4,500)

Rhodes ($400)

Freemasons ($500)

Co-op ($50)

River Hebert Fire ($100)

Art ($50)

CANSA ($750)

English Award ($50)

French Oral Proficiency

French ($25)

French Honours

1st place ($150)

Grade 12 Honours

Gov. General Medal

Board Honours with D

RHDH Proctor ($150)

Fife/Moran ($200)

 

DYLAN ELLSWORTH:

Ellsworth, Dylan (Year off) ($20)

Co-op ($20)

 

CONNOR HURLEY:

Year off) ($120)

RH Home & School ($100)

Co-op ($20)

 

ALAN LEBLANC:

(Workforce) ($20)

Co-op ($20)

 

TYLER THOMAS:

(Workforce) ($20)

Co-op ($20)

Improvement Trophy

 

BRANDON VANSNICK:

(Workforce) ($40)

Co-op ($20)

Achieve Award ($20)