Big thanks to Cole Beaulieu, CMA Valedictorian 2019, for delivering a moving address at this year’s Graduation Ceremony held on June 20th at gorgeous Quest University. Your humour and heart-felt thanks were quite moving. For those who missed it, here is Cole’s valedictorian address:
You may not know me, but my name is Cole Beaulieu and after six years at Coast Mountain Academy I am standing here as valedictorian of my class. Today is the day we have all been waiting for – for the past twelve long years. For some of us years of hard work and perseverance got us here, for others, years of patient teachers and a healthy dose of luck and last minute cramming got us here. But no matter how we got here, we all did and today is the day we finally graduate.
Coast Mountain Academy has been the grounds for the good and the bad times and have undeniably shaped us into the people we are today, some of us may still have some growing to do but we are well on our way to becoming responsible, mature, contributing members of society that reflect the forces that shaped us here at CMA. When we look back on our time here; certain events are bound to jump out: Getting to see the breathtaking Garibaldi lake from the top of Panorama Ridge in grade 8, borrowing a book from a certain coastal field station, and more recently being completely out of breath with a pounding headache and an unbelievable view at 5000 meters just a week ago. There were the hot days sitting out on the picnic benches and the rainy ones where we all wished the school would invest in a roof. And we will always remember the work, the anxious waiting as we collected tests and assignments. The bad grades that made our hearts fall but motivated us to study harder and do better, and the good ones that put a smile on our faces and made us feel like we might just graduate some day. And today is that day!
Now, the time has come to thank everyone who have helped us along and those whom we never would have made it here without. First I want to thank the teachers. When people ask me if they should send their kids to CMA the first thing I tell them about is the teachers. The teachers have always had our best interests in mind through thick and thin, and even when we have been completely intolerable the teachers have been there for us and when I say intolerable I mean intolerable. As to make sure that everyone gets out before sunset I won’t go into every teacher that has ever taught us at CMA but I would like to talk about the teachers that have made our grade 12 year unforgettable. Mr. Bauck, Mr. Sharp, Mr. Logan, and Mr. B, you have been more than just teachers for us over the past year. You have been mentors and role models and have helped us navigate the maze of grade 12 math, english and science as well as life experience in and out of school, such as our amazing trip to Peru.
And a special thanks to Mr. Slinger, little known fact he didn’t have a single grey hair when he took the job and came into contact with the class of 2019. A perfect case in point as he patiently waited yesterday to review a speech that hadn’t been written yet. When I say Mr. Slinger will be happy to see us go it is not out of malice, but out of pride to see a group of ragtag individuals turned into the cohesive unit we are today.
As I move onto the parents, there are no words I can use to thank them in full. We would not be here without them, like literally not be here. It is said that it costs around 200,000 dollars to raise a child to the age of 18, and that doesn’t consider 12 years of private school tuition. Thankfully my parents don’t expect me to pay it all back but that only makes me more grateful. The debt to our parents goes so much deeper than that though, they were the ones who pushed us out the door when we didn’t want to, who offered us encouragement and threats in regards to marks, and who tolerated us through our highs and lows. Without you, we would never have made it here. Thank you all moms and dads.
And above all of that, there are my classmates. I can say that we know each other like we are family. From the first ever day of CMA planning uniforms with Noah, the only other founding student graduating today. To making unforgettable memories these past two weeks in Peru. This class is full of amazing individuals from world-class mountain bikers to veritable geniuses (and no Ian they are not the same person). We represent diversity in character that in many schools would have made community difficult but despite all odds, CMA managed the opposite and has bred a tight-knit community. Many of these friendships will last a lifetime and some of them will be refreshed at the reunions that are already being planned. This class is like a family, as much as we may fight and bicker at the end of the day we will always have each other’s backs.
For some of us high school was a breeze and will be a jewel to look back on for others it was a grind but this is the day we have all been working towards. As we exit the auditorium in the coming hours we will all leave with our heads held high knowing a chapter is coming to a close and a chapter will begin anew tomorrow. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Coast Mountain Academy class of 2019. Thank You.