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'Congrads' to the Nakusp class of 2024

The 2024 Nakusp grad speech
(Stock photo)

In my career in education, I have had the privilege of giving numerous addresses to the graduating class.  I looked back at many of my speeches and have recycled a few lines from past ceremonies into my message today.  That being said, my opening line from my first grad ceremony here in Nakusp bears repeating - I’m going to follow the three B’s outlined by Franklin Delanor Roosevelt – be sincere, be brief, and be seated.


Hard to believe that your nine hundred days of high school will soon be coming to an end.  Not sure if you remember me saying that to most of you during our Grade 7 transition visits – you only have nine hundred days in high school, so I encouraged you to take maximum advantage of them – did you?



Many changes have occurred over that time span and will continue to change going forward.   Some of you have gotten taller, you have changed your hair or clothing style. Hopefully, you have become wiser, more mature and more confident.  Your friend groups and interests have evolved.  For many of you, your future and goals have come into focus.  For some of you, those plans have changed dramatically over the past five years, and for others, you are still trying to figure it out, but regardless of what is next, one thing for sure is that things are going to continue to change. 


Dealing with change can be challenging, but it's also an inevitable part of your life. Here are some thoughts & tips I would like to leave you with to help you navigate through these future changes more smoothly:


Remember and always acknowledge that change is a natural part of life. Do not resist it as that will only lead to more stress and frustration. Embrace the idea that change can bring new opportunities for growth and learning.   


Surround yourself with supportive friends, family, and colleagues who can offer encouragement and guidance during times of change.  I have said it in previous years, but I once again suggest you especially cherish your family and your friends as if your life depended on it ... because it does and it will.


Be sure to take care of your physical and emotional well-being during times of change. Be available for activities that help you relax and recharge, such as exercise, sports participation or your various hobbies.  Try new things as well. Take chances. Make mistakes. Dabble. Change your mind and try to avoid regret.


Remember, change is inevitable, but how you choose to respond to it is within your control. By staying adaptable, positive, and proactive, you will find that you can navigate through change with resilience and grace.


Never forget or refuse to feel grateful for the experiences in life.  Don’t be fearful of change – there is risk in everything, but I encourage you to always find a way to do the right thing. 


In closing, I want to thank you for letting me be present for some of the changes in your lives, and I appreciate each of you being part of mine.   You have all helped me be a better principal and have added so much to my own journey through life as I navigate my own changes, and for that I will forever be grateful.

~Mr. Gajda - Principal