Nearly 140 Grade 12 students walked the stage at the Winspear Centre on June 2 at Fort Saskatchewan High School’s annual commencement ceremony.
The graduates returned from Edmonton to celebrate with their families and friends at a prom later in the day in the Fort High gym.
"It's a great group of kids. I'm really proud of all of these guys," said Fort High principal Sunny Sandhu, adding that a lot of the students have been attending school together since kindergarten. “To see them walk the stage it really was a momentous occasion last Saturday."
Class valedictorian Andrew Poholka, who gave the final speech at the Winspear ceremony, said it was a special experience to spend his school career with the same group of kids and watch them grow and change through the years.
“You can walk down the halls of the school and there's very few people you don't recognize immediately or know the names of,” he said. “I spoke about that a lot in my speech and that sort of unique experience of being in a small town and knowing everyone around you.”
Eighteen-year-old Poholka has been focusing on academics since junior high.
"I've always put a lot of work into school and spent a lot of time studying and made sure I did well,” he said.
Poholka also played football for Fort High and rugby for St. John Paul II and is a member of the school advisory council, a group of students, teachers and trustees that meet regularly to discuss school issues.
“(Poholka) is a very strong academic student, very strong in the classroom and just a really good person," Sandhu added.
The valedictorian will be attending the University of Alberta in the fall to get started on his bachelor of science degree, the next step in his eventual goal of going to medical school. This summer he’ll be working in the kitchen at a local restaurant to save up for some of the costs that come with pursuing post-secondary education.
Sandhu offered his thanks to the community for the support they’ve given Fort High throughout the soon-to-end school year.
“Their support really leads to our graduates' ability to achieve success. So thank you to Fort Saskatchewan."