The Trafalgar Day ceremony on June 18 marked the official last day of school and recognized the many achievements of our students, awarding prizes, medals and certificates for outstanding successes. It was also an opportunity to honour our Class of 2022 as they embark on the next stage of their journey with the symbolic cutting of the daisy chain and awarding of diplomas.
During the ceremony, the Trafalgar community members had the opportunity to listen to the Class of 2022 Valedictorian Meeraya’s inspiring speech, Read it below!
“Seven years, nine months, and 14 days ago, a little girl was getting ready for her first day at a new school. She buttoned up her white blouse with excitement, fastened her kilt with uneasiness, had her dad tie her tie as she jittered, and finally pulled on her blazer that was much too big for her. The arms too long and the shoulders too wide, yet she knew that someday, she would grow into it. At school, she noticed that all the other kids were wearing blazers too big, as well.
The following year, she buttoned up her blouse with a little more sureness, fastened her kilt with a tad more confidence, had her dad tie her tie yet again, and pulled on her blazer that seemed to fit a little bit better. The arms seemed a little shorter and the shoulders more narrow, yet she knew that there was still some growing to do. At school, most of her peers fit their blazers a little more, though there were a few new students whose blazers seemed too big.
As each year passed, the girl grew into her blazer a little more until her final year. On my last first day of school (surprise, I was the little girl), I buttoned up my shirt with confidence, fastened my kilt with certainty, still had my dad tie my tie since I never figured it out and put on my blazer that now fit perfectly. The arms were at the exact length and the shoulders the ideal width, and I knew that I had finally grown into my blazer.
Good morning, again, family, friends, staff, fellow students, and once more, most importantly, grads. As you may or may not know, I am Meeraya and it is an honour to represent the Class of 2022 in this Valedictorian Address. I honestly can’t believe that I am up here today delivering this speech. It feels like just yesterday we were in grade 5, learning everyone’s names for the first time and constantly forgetting who’s who when half of our class had names that started with the letter M.
As someone who has been in this class since the very beginning, I have had the chance to see every person in our grade join our class in a blazer too big and grow into it as the years go by. The blazer is a physical symbol, though it is also a figurative one. When each person on this stage stepped foot into the school for the first time, nervous and unsure, every single one of us felt a little bit out of place. The big, loose blazer allowed us to hide from those fears and stay hidden from who we were. With every year that passed, every club that we joined, every time we raised our hand in class, the blazer started to fit better. Until eventually, it fit perfectly and we knew that this was where we belonged. We stand up straighter when we wear our blazers now compared to the first time; confident and accomplished. Every single one of us has accomplished so much and made such a large impact in this school. Whether it was something as small as holding the door or as big as forming new clubs, taking on new initiatives or helping make our community better. Every way that you graduates contributed to the school made your blazers fit just a little better.
With every contribution you made to the school, I know that the school contributed back to us, as well. It taught us many valuable lessons and shaped us into the independent, strong people we are today. During this pandemic when morale was low, our teachers stepped up and made learning fun. We learned from Mrs. K that the phloem transports the food and from Mr. Lyew, the original creator of Fancy Cow who taught us which direction was concave up and which direction is concave down. Thank you so much to every single staff member, mentor, and teacher that taught us skills essential for our futures and helped us grow into our blazers. You acted as the tailors, making sure that in the end, the blazer fit just as we wanted it to fit. We know that all those times you challenged us and pushed back at us, you were pushing us forward to become the strong, bold people we are today. Even when we are given a test during our last period on our last day of high school, we know that you did it because you cared and wanted to push us to be the best versions of ourselves that we could be. Thank you for putting up with us, even when we didn’t deserve it.
Now for our other master tailors, our parents and guardians. You have all been such important supports in our lives and have been there every step of the way. Thank you for driving us to the 6:30 a.m. practices, thank you for coming to our sports games, thank you to my mum for driving back to school nearly every day the week before the winter break because I forgot something essential at home, thank you all for being exactly what we needed. Without any of you, we wouldn’t be sitting up here on this stage, today.
Now for our grads, I, along with every person in this tent, am so insanely proud of each and every one of you. Whether you arrived at Trafalgar eight years ago, or one year ago, you have accomplished so much during your time here and it has been a privilege to see you grow into your blazers. Today, you have traded in your blazer for a cap and gown, and after you leave here, you could find yourself in a lab coat, or a pair of scrubs, or an apron, or an art smock. In these new situations, you may feel small and unaccomplished, but just know that just like your blazer, you will grow into it and achieve great things. I think that the biggest thing to remember is that there are so many tailors around you in the form of friends, peers, family, teachers, and more that are here to help you fit into your new blazer, whatever it may be.
I know that each and every one of you will make an impact on this world and have been given the skills from Trafalgar to do so. To the Class of 2022 – congratulations and good luck!”