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Central Kings grads collect nearly 500K in awards at Berwick ceremony

BERWICK, N.S.  - Retiring principal Janice Foote had a few words of wisdom to share in her final address to a graduating class at Central Kings.

“Some of you have been together since you were five years old. My advice to you as you now move on… is to nurture joy. Joy is in the smallest thing and I challenge you to seek it actively. Even in the most trying of circumstances, try to seek lessons from pain,” said Foote, who offered some emotional closing remarks as she reflected on her 22 years at the Cambridge-based school.

“If you seek joy, you will have laughter, love and hope in your lives.”

The Apple Dome arena in Berwick’s Kings Mutual Century Centre complex was packed June 28 for the Central Kings Rural High School’s graduation ceremony.

The class of 115 students collected 115 bursary or scholarship awards, with the combined total adding up to more than $494,000.

In an unusual twist, the Governor’s General Award recognizing the student with the highest average was actually claimed by two grads – Madeleine MacDonald and Kayla Thomson. They both finished high school with an overall average of 96.4 in Grade 12.

Thomson, the recipient of subject awards for the highest marks in such classes as physics and calculus, received a standing ovation as she was announced as the winner of a $100,000 Schulich Leadership Scholarship award. She is one of 25 students across Canada selected for the award offered to support studies in the field of engineering.

Ruth Hall was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Award, and Lieutenant Governor Medal recipients Jillian Smith and Alyssa Little were also in attendance.

Grads Morgan Laffin and Darien McBride teamed up to deliver the valedictory address. They reflected on the year that was and offered some thoughts on what’s to come.

McBride reflected on the exhilarating experience of discovering his passion for psychology and subsequently learning that he’d have an opportunity to study the subject in university.

“I truly felt that genuine motivation; I was inspired… I challenge each and every one of you to find that passion,” he said.

“Be the best at whatever it is, which truly can be anything.”

Laffin encouraged her peers to cherish the memories from Central Kings and greet the future with optimism.

“Don’t wish away your high school years - they will soon be some of the best of your life. But, standing here today with all of you, I think the best is yet to come.”

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