CORNWALL – It’s the end of high school and on to university for Ainsley Hunt and Randy Schmucker.
The co-valedictorians, both 18, were among 112 Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School students to graduate Thursday during ceremonies held at T.R. Leger School on Cumberland Street.
It’s a big relief for Hunt at the end of the high school road. “Unreal! It’s been a long journey. I’m very excited that it’s over and I’ll be able to pursue my life,” she told Cornwall Newswatch.
“It’s such a huge accomplishment,” said Randy Schmucker. “A lot of people throughout high school are always focusing on getting the highest grades and getting everything that they need to do. But a lot of people don’t realize there are people that just want to graduate and to see that, that everyone has come to the same point, it’s really awesome to see,” Schmucker said.
The valedictorians’ speech also focused on everything they learned during their high schooling, including those lessons outside academics. “I think it’s really important that the high school curriculum doesn’t just teach kids how to be functional in society but it teaches them how to learn…how to learn about themselves,” Schmucker said.
And the most memorable high school moment? It was the winter talent show and student council for Hunt and dance performances for Schmucker.
Hunt heads to Carleton University in the fall to study humanities and psychology with the goal of being a high school teacher. She became interested in a teaching career after participating in a Grade 9 teaching co-op.
Schmucker is going to Ottawa University for aboriginal studies and also wants to be a high school teacher. He has been teaching dance for the past three years at CCVS. “I always really enjoyed seeing kids learn and get out of their shells to become better,” he said.
“Their (the graduates) future is great. They’re a great example for the kids coming behind them and they have a great future ahead of them,” Principal Trish Brown said.
Brown said Hunt and Schmucker were perfect examples of students involved in curricular and extra-curricular activities. “They led the way in being multifaceted students,” she said.
Brown said she was emotional seeing the graduating student body leave to enter the next phase of their life. “I just got choked up when we were eating cake. I’m very proud. We are proud to see their accomplishments, sad to see them leave.”