Today, June 17, is a memorable day in the history of exploration and adventure: in 1597, Sir Francis Drake landed on the shores of California; in 1903 Roald Amundsen set out on the first, successful east-west navigation of the Northwest Passage; and, in 1928, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to take part in a Transatlantic flight.
Human progress is the story of people who had the courage to extend the boundaries of what they could possibly accomplish. At Greenwood, we strive to cultivate the desire to pursue new horizons—individually and collectively—in all of our students.
To all the members of this year’s Leaving Class, each of you have been wonderful examples of stretching your horizons. Many of you have pushed yourselves to excel and have gained acceptance into extremely competitive university programs in engineering, sciences, commerce and the arts.
The spirit to venture further and to accomplish is thriving in other grades as well. Two of our Grade 10 students are attending the prestigious SHAD summer program
, which brings together 600 students from across North America. Several other students had poems, short stories or art works selected for publication or showings by organizations outside of Greenwood. One student’s documentary on the Canadian Cancer Society
aired on Breakfast Television, while one of our Grade 9 students placed in the Top 20 of the Canadian Geographic Challenge
This desire to stretch is not limited to individual achievements. This year’s athletic accomplishments have been among our best ever. Our U-20 Boys’ Volleyball team placed fifth at the provincial championships. In particular, the success of our Grade 7 and 8 students has been remarkable. As members of various U-14 teams, you won five championships and two silver medals during this past year. All of your coaches were impressed with your determination and your ability to believe in yourselves even when you fell behind. You have provided a great example for future U-14 teams at Greenwood and set the stage for future success as you move into the U-16 Division.
As a community, you have motivated one another to accomplish things that make life better for other people. Take the Terry Fox Run. Unlike previous years, where the goal was expressed in the amount of money raised, this year the student organizers set 100% participation from the student body as the target. This shift in focus resulted in the students raising over $23,000, which is the highest total for this event in the history of the school. This same collective spirit and commitment to communities outside of Greenwood helped collect over 1,000 books for the Children’s Book Bank, raise $9,000 for the Dignitas After School Programs, and provide timely support to the Relief Fund for people evacuated from Fort McMurray.
Accomplishing goals that at first glance seem beyond us takes dedication and hard work. It also requires support from others. We are so fortunate to have a community of adults—teachers, coaches, advisers, school staff, and parents—who care deeply about the growth of each and every student.This morning, we celebrate the character of our students and their commitment to push forward and excel—for themselves, for their school, for their communities and for their world.