KENSINGTON, P.E.I. – For many students at Kensington Intermediate Senior High school, the people grading their test are more than just teachers, they’ve become friends and mentors.
“I’m going to miss the teachers the most,” said graduates Sher Wall and Bailey Clark.
Wall adds, “That’s something I think is very unique to KISH – the students and the teachers have a very close relationship and it really means a lot.”
Clark chimes in, “To me they’re more than the people who grade my tests. They’re not lecturers. Rather some of them have become my friend. I hope they can say that about me.”
On Thursday 45 graduates walked through the halls of KISH as a student for the final time for the 63rd annual Commencement Exercises.
“You are all here to witness the mass panic attack as this moment draws on us. For the last time, we sit down here in this gymnasium as students. Some of us are sad to see this place for what may be the last time, and some of us are shaking in our seats, anxious to bolt through the doors, diploma in hand,” said class valedictorian, Brent Cousins.
Cousins said as the students walk out of the school there will be mixed feelings, from bittersweet to relief, sadness or uncertainty.
“If you’re anything like me, you have no idea what you’re going to do next and that’s OK; we’ll just wing it. As my teachers could tell you, I didn’t stress myself with dates and deadlines. Mr. Sherren said I should mention how on the day they announced who was going to be up on stage here tonight, I didn’t even know there was a meeting.”
He noted that over the past 12 fumbled-through months, it’s all led them to the next step.
“All of the lessons this life has taught us, we learned who we are and we’re still learning. We like to think we are adults now, but we’re not. We are still kids, standing in a crowded room, wondering where to go, what to do on the way and who we might meet.”
Clark, the winner of the Governor General award, agreed.
“The big thing I learned this year was what I am capable of. I didn’t realize what I could accomplish, and I still don’t. But I think I have a better understanding and confidence in myself going forward.”
Cousins, Clark and Wall all agree that their final year at KISH was a memorable one.
“The grad activities were really fun. Safe prom was a really good time. I think there was the mindset that we had to make sure everyone was included and had a good time. That was really important. It was a new understanding this year.”