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Four students graduate in Fort Liard
Graduates honoured for their achievements

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, June 21, 2012

A part of the Deh Cho's future was honoured in Fort Liard last week.

NNSL photo/graphic

Echo Dene School graduate Trye Timbre holds his graduation scroll and a plaque during the graduation ceremony in Fort Liard on June 7. - Roxanna Thompson/NNSL photo

Echo Dene School held its graduation ceremony on June 7 for four students Monica Berreault, Camilla Bertrand, Ivy-Lynn Marcellais and Trye Timbre. Class valedictorian Bertrand addressed the family, friends, teachers and community members who had gathered in the community hall for the occasion.

"Tonight marks an important change in our lives. We get to think back on good old times life seemed too easy back then and look ahead to what is in our future," Bertrand said.

She listed some of the highlights of the graduates' school careers including trips to soccer tournaments, youth conferences and the student exchange to Bella Bella, B.C.

"On all of those trips we learned what the outside world had to offer and we realized that we needed to become responsible and independent," Bertrand said.

She also thanked all of the people who helped the graduates remain in school, including family members and friends.

"Without their encouragement and support we'd be afraid to pursue our goals and dreams," she said.

"I'd like to think that being here tonight is a dream come true because we were all determined to graduate from Grade 12."

Bertrand told the crowd that whatever lies ahead for the graduates is up to them.

"We are the future," she said.

Bertrand's message was echoed by Stevie Nande, a former Echo Dene School graduate and the guest speaker for the ceremony. The answer to the question "What now?" is all up to you, he told the four graduates.

Whether it is travelling, going for further education or getting high-paying jobs, one has to take the next step on their own, he said, adding the graduates might be a bit scared of what will happen, but he hopes they will find out who they are and what they are capable of.

"I believe you will make it out there on your own," he said.

Nande also encouraged the graduates to continue learning and discovering new things.

"Your schooling may be over but your education will always continue," he said.

A number of other dignitaries also spoke to the graduates during the ceremony, including Chief Harry Deneron of Acho Dene Koe First Nation; Terry Jaffray, the superintendent of the Dehcho Divisional Education Council; and Anna Sahadat, the manager of the Northern Store in Fort Liard.

Sahadat presented each of the graduates with an achievement certificate and gift card. All of the graduates have worked at the store.

Sahadat encouraged the graduates to dream and dream big.

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