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F.P. Walshe Class of 2013 was determined to be amazing

william lam

Principal Bill Forster with valedictorian William Lam.

naomi burbank

Naomi Burbank reacts as she gets her diploma from principal Bill Forster.

When principal Bill Forster asked F.P. Walshe school staff to describe the Class of 2013, no one was at a loss for words.
Staff members offered descriptions such as conscientious, giving, considerate, humanitarian, kind, generous, compassionate, dedicated, hard-working, leadership, good citizens and exceptional.
“The one thing that comes to my mind about this group is determination,” Forster said. “I can say I have never run into a bunch that once they have an idea and decide they are going to run with it, they will not be deterred.”
The school gymnasium was packed Thursday night for the Class of 2013 cap and gown ceremony.
Forster joined with other staff members in praising the grads for the caring and compassion they show to others.
“This class has had the idea from the beginning that they were leaders and they need to show leadership,” Forster said. “That includes academic leadership in the classroom, and social leadership outside the classroom.”
School dances have made a comeback under the leadership of the group, the spirit activities of the school have been regenerated, and arranged to donate grad dresses to High River students devastated last month by flooding.
Forster pointed out more than a third of the grad class completed six or seven diploma level courses.
“That’s the character, that’s the flavour that I can pass on about this class,” Forster said. “They truly are amazing.”
Forster had simple advice for the grads.
“Continue to be determined to be amazing,” Forster said.
Grad council leaders Chelsey Joel and Christian Hansen provided a humorous answer to the question of how they would describe their classmates.
They reflected on the academic aspirations of their classmates, their athletic accomplishments, their fun-loving spirit, their love of the spotlight and the way they stole the hearts of people in their lives.
“Just in case you missed it, we’re a bunch of brainless, athletes, basket cases and criminals” Joel and Hansen said, laughing. “Does that answer your question?”
David Orr joined the teaching staff at F.P. Walshe school in 2008 and followed the Class of 2013 through their years at the school.
“This is an amazing group of students,” Orr said. “Truly a group of students who have pushed me and inspired me to be the best I can be.”
Fort Macleod Mayor Shawn Patience reflected on the challenges Albertans faced in the past week caused by flooding.
“Life is full of joy, it is full of pleasure, it is full of success, and sometimes it’s full of challenges,” Patience said. “Through disaster and through challenges we continue to see the indomitable spirit of people.”
Patience told the grads their journey will not always be easy and urged them to persevere.
“May your road be pleasant, may it be full of joy and may the challenges be met with faith and commitment and strength,” Patience said.
Wesley Provost brought greetings from Piikani Nation chief and council, and asked the grads to remember the support they have enjoyed.
“You didn’t get here alone,” Provost said. “Somebody pushed you and today they’re sitting in the audience. Always remember that, and never take anything for granted.”
Kainai chief and council representative Lance Tailfeathers told the grads to find what it is they enjoy doing and make the most of their lives.
“This is only the beginning,” said Tailfeathers, who like Patience graduated in 1979 from F.P. Walshe school. “Always give your best effort.”
Trustee Lori Hodges brought greetings on behalf of Livingstone Range School Board.
“We have some great students here, and I know you are going to do great things with your lives,” Hodges told the grads.