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Valedictorian Justin Delver urges Class of 2016 to follow their dreams

justin delver

Valedictorian Justin Delver waits as principal Bill Forster moves the tassel on his mortarboard.

Valedictorian Justin Delver sent the Class of 2016 at F.P. Walshe school into the world with a few words of advice.
“I encourage you to follow your dreams, to discover this new world that has opened up in front of us,” Delver said. “For the future really does belong to those who believe in their dreams.”
Delver gave the valedictory address June 28 during the cap and gown ceremony at Fort Macleod and District Sports Centre.
F.P. Walshe teacher Chris Schalk lavished praise on Delver as he introduced the Class of 2016’s valedictorian.
“This year’s valedictorian is an exceptional young man,” Schalk said, praising Delver for his keen intellectual mind, curiosity for learning and work ethic. “He is one of the strongest students I have ever had the pleasure to teach.”
Schalk said competition was fierce for valedictorian, which goes to the student with the highest average, with just one per cent separating the top two candidates.
“He is very, very worthy of this honour,” Schalk said of Delver.
Delver started his address by praising a fellow student for pushing him hard academically.
“I’m honoured to be valedictorian this year,” Delver said. “It was a very tough journey to get here, and that was in large part because of Bradley Harris.”
Harris was runner-up in the competition to earn valedictorian honours.
“In our whole high school experience Brad and I have pushed each other to excel in our own pursuit of excellence,” Delver said. “I would like to acknowledge Bradley Harris as a very close runner-up and thank him for motivating me.”
The valedictorian also thanked teachers, coaches, family and friends who supported the Class of 2016 throughout the first leg of their education.
“Without all of you, none of us would be up here right now,” Delver said.
Delver noted the grads will all take different paths in their lives as they leave F.P. Walshe school.
“No matter what we decide to do later in life there is one universally applicable lesson and that is to never stop striving to reach your dreams,” Delver said.
Delver told his classmates it doesn’t matter if they can’t achieve every one of their dreams.
“As long as you keep striving to reach them, no doubt you will meet amazing new people, see new places, and learn new things,” Delver said.
Delver said the grads will find they have new dreams as they grow older, and will discover that what was important yesterday will be less important.
Delver quoted Winston Churchill, who said success is not final and failure is not fatal.
“It is the courage to continue that counts,” Delver said. “What he was saying is that it does not matter how many times you get knocked down or how many times you fail, all that matters is that you keep getting back up and fighting to achieve those dreams.”
“But on the other hand, it doesn’t matter whether you achieve those dreams if you just stop there. You need to keep on fighting, pursuing new dreams and new heights.”
Delver said school has been full of adventures with life-long friends, and he urged classmates to keep in touch.
“Now is the time to keep pursuing our dreams as we stand in front of a whole new world full of possibilities, full of new experiences.”