The Grade 7s commitment to the Playground Pals program and service learning program have been areas where they have shown true leadership. Their energy, sense of fun and playful nature meant that the very young children in the YWCA daycare centres loved to have them come to visit.
They were also superstars in leading the younger students during our Sports Day this year.
Thank you and we wish you the very best as you move on to Grade 8!
Below is the speech that our Grade 7 Valedictorians, Lauren (L) and Jacqueline (J), delivered at the Grade 7 Graduation Ceremony. It sums up their memories and stories of the last “very special” eight years:
J: Good afternoon parents, teachers, staff, and the class of 2020. Welcome to the 2015 grade seven graduation ceremony. Lauren and I are honoured to be able to stand before you today representing our class. This afternoon we wish to share with you our collective memories and stories of a very special eight years. Speaking of our years here, doesn’t it feel like it was just yesterday that we showed up at the first day of Junior School?
L: It may feel like yesterday, but actually, it was 2,844 days, 6 hours and 30 minutes ago to be exact. No, I didn’t calculate that myself. I used Countdown on my iPad to figure it out.
J: We all came to York House for different reasons at different times. For some parents, sending their child here was tradition. For others, parents chose York House because they wanted the best for us. Either way, we have all benefited because of their love and aspirations for us. We have become the young women we are today because of our amazing experiences at this school.
L: Friendships have been a big part of our time here at York House. We came to school everyday knowing that there were so many people we could count on and trust. All of us have built strong friendships during our years at York House. And these friendships are the kind that can last a lifetime.
J: We have many fond memories of the Junior School including the sports programs, house games, and amazingly fun activities. Things like the annual house games and competitions, the Halloween pumpkin carving contest and Sports Day.
L: I remember having so much fun coming up with creative ideas for the pumpkin carving competitions. And our house games where two houses would play a game of pinball or benchball were truly memorable. Who knew our Grade 4s selves could be so competitive!
J: Sports games and meets were also so fun. They were a great opportunity for us to come together as Tigers. While competing was always a thrill and a chance to do our personal best, I think we would all agree that cheering on our teammates to give it their all or bonding between events were the best times.
L: Now let’s reflect back on our early days in the junior school. Kindergarten started with apples and oranges and we’ve been food crazed ever since. Our grade one days were filled with playtime, optimism and, if you look at our yearbook photos, toothless smiles!
J: I will never forget all those grade two days we spent trading so called “take-apart” erasers. Take apart erasers came in many different forms of animals, foods, objects, clothing – practically everything in our lives was cloned as a take apart eraser.
L: The mushroom story was a secret story told by our Grade 2 teacher, Ms. Grills. It was a magical story about an adventure. However, in order to listen to more of the story each day we weren’t allowed to tell anyone! Ms. Grills had a strict system; if we came into the classroom and a candle was burning that meant it was time for the story! Who knew we could be so disciplined.
J: Grade 3, the year we were assigned our houses. Those in Mrs. Nicole’s class will never forget the Ocean Play. And those in Ms. Nolan’s class I’m sure remember the frog musical. And of course the first ever school sleepover at the aquarium with a beluga as our roommate. In Grade 4, we entered a whole new world when we were given the responsibility of owning a cafeteria card and having an email account. Our dreams of being a ‘big kid’ had finally been realized! We were no longer little fishes in the big pond.
L: I also remember that in Ms. Richardson’s class, we would have these things called peace points where if we collected a certain number of points then we would have a party! Ms. Pitts class had a similar system with pebble points. Remember the plays we wrote about explorers? And who can forget our singing, dancing munchkin selves in the Senior School production of The Wizard of Oz! We were so cute back then. And we’ll all remember our nature names from Camp Elphinstone in Grade 5 and the really awesome field trip in Grade 6 when we went to the Vancouver Art Gallery, bought lunch at the food trucks and then divided into teams to complete a scavenger hunt around all of downtown. What made all these events so memorable were the fun times we had being together.
J: And then we became Grade 7s with ballroom dancing and Saint George’s boys! We were so focused on the last dance the night before camp, many of us forgot to pack. We wrapped up our year with a great adventure at Camp Stillwood in Chilliwack. The cell phone free camp was a really fun bonding experience for all of us. Most of us didn’t know what to do with ourselves at first. The days seemed much longer without the constant Instagram check in and a group chat text. We learned lots, like how to talk to one another without a screen doing the work for us. We will never forget those long adventure filled days that started with a knock on the door by a teacher at 7am and ended with another knock on the door (or should we say “pound”) followed by a loud “go to sleep” at 11 at night.
L: Being in Grade 7 also has some special traditions. At the Father Daughter Dinner Dance we held hands and danced as a grade. We do this because for most of us the Father Daughter Dinner Dance has been something that we’ve done through all of our years at York House! Every year, as I’m sure you know, we have the holiday market a much anticipated shopping frenzy! And I bet that I’m not the only one who was crazy about buying those teddy bears. I was drawn to them like a moth to light. Yes, Ms. Webb, that’s a simile for you!
J: This year in Grade 7 we had volleyball tryouts for the first time. We were fortunate to have both an A and B team to play on. Both of our teams did extremely well with each one winning first at a tournament! The A team won the St. John’s “Dig it” tournament at the very beginning of the year. The B team took home the end of season ISEA first place trophy. We are so lucky to have a grade filled with amazing athletes across many sports! And what amazing coaches!
L: We would like to acknowledge and show our appreciation for all our wonderful parents. I know my parents have helped me so much with homework, school drama, and signing an endless amount of field trip forms, permission forms, club forms. Many, many forms. Our parents have woken up at ungodly hours to drive us here and there, showed up in the middle of the day to listen to our concerts and plays, and made sure we were packed for this field trip or that camp.
J: You care so much and you put in so much of your time, energy and love. We sincerely appreciate it. Your support is key to the great time we have here. And thank you to all the teachers who have made a tremendous impact on our academic and emotional development. We know that you care for us deeply and we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
L: Thank you to the administration and staff. You have made York House more than just a school – it’s like a family. You have helped to make sure that our experiences at York House are just that much better. And finally Mr. Camp and Ms. Webb.
J: Mr. Camp, your deerhide project is one of the reasons many of us became vegetarians and I don’t think our mothers have forgiven you yet. Aside from that you were a very collaborative, understanding, and helpful teacher. You always meet people’s needs. All those stories you told about rock climbing that usually ended in a near death situation or severe injury will never be forgotten. Thank you for a great year.
L: Ms.Webb, we’ve all had such a fun year with you filled with joy, laughter and organized chaos! We had such a blast with the stone-age day even if some of us were being hunted down by little kids with spears! We were so lucky to have you as a teacher, you’ve always been someone who we can come and talk to! Thank you for being there through everything!
J: We are all saying goodbye to the Junior School. We will miss this place. But we promise to come back and visit. We know where the teachers stash their goodies. Most of us are saying hello to the Senior School but some are off on new adventures. We will deeply miss them and we wish them the best.
L: As we say at York House, “tradition never graduates”, once a Yorkie always a Yorkie. We may go off to different places but we’re all only a text or phone call away. Yorkie friendships are made to last forever.
J: Ellen Degeneres once said: “Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path then by all means you should follow that.” Congratulations to everyone on the finishing of Junior School! We hope you have an amazing summer!