KISH grads reflect on past as they look to the future

Mike Carson
Published on June 24, 2014
Kensington Intermediate Senior High School principal Donald Mulligan takes a moment prior to graduation ceremonies to chat with valedictorian Olivia Roberts (center) and Governor General Award winner Heather Harris. 
Mike Carson/Journal Pioneer

KENSINGTON – It’s a day that seemed would never come – until it did.


And now the 70 graduates of Kensington Intermediate Senior High School are asking where the time has gone.

That was the sentiment Monday night at KISH just moments before they received their diplomas.

While most graduates talked about missing classmates and teachers, there were two who will be ending a lifelong tradition.

For the first time, twin sisters Makayla and Hannah Oatway will be going their separate ways in the fall, each chasing their own goals.

“It’s really exciting,” Makayla said. “It’s really bitter sweet because you don’t really imagine yourself graduating. You know you are graduating, and it’s exciting building up to the point, but when you get there, it’s like wow, it comes so fast. I can’t believe it’s actually here.”

Hannah had the same feeling.

“You wait your school years to be in grade 12 and it goes by quick,” she said. “It’s exciting and sad at the same time. Our school is really close. Our grad class, we were really close this year. I’m going to miss how tightly knit we are.”

Makayla said it’s the size of KISH that brings students closer together.

“I’m definitely going to miss being in school with my sister,” she said. “It’s our last year together and all of my friends too. It’s a new start so it’s kind of scary.”

Makayla is going to St. Thomas University in Fredericton to study journalism and Hannah is off to Holland College to study early childhood education.

Both young women were outstanding athletes at KISH and each will continue their sporting activities at their new schools. Makayla is committed to the track team and Hannah to Holland College’s to the soccer and volleyball teams.”

Valedictorian, Olivia Roberts had encouraging words for her fellow classmates in her address.

“My theme is don’t let high school, whether it was good or bad, define the rest of your life,” she said. “It’s over now, set goals for yourself, move forward. This is the most important chapter of our lives.”

Roberts said she’s looking forward to new challenges.

“I’m extremely excited to move forward with my life,” she said. “I’m going to miss the teachers. The staff is amazing here. That’s the saddest part about leaving KISH.”

A talented musician, Roberts is going to combine that talent with her education.

“I’m going Acadia in the fall and taking music therapy,” she said. “It’s a form of therapy where you sing for stroke victims. You sing for soldiers or people in a mental institute or manors. I love the helping profession and I love music. You put those two together and it’s the best of both worlds.”