Future looks good for Class of 2017
Nick Ioanidis (left) and Colten Scheeraschmidt capture some memories before the Camrose Composite High School graduation at Mirror Lake in Camrose, Alta. on Friday May 12, 2017. Josh Aldrich/Camrose Canadian/Postmedia Network
Andrew Wowk delivered a message of strength during his valedictorian address at the Camrose Composite High School graduation on May 12.
It is not an individual physical strength, but the strength of the graduating classmates with a varied skill set ready to move on into the next step of their lives. The theme of the night was the Future Looks Good and Wowk, 17, is one example of this.
“I see so much potential in everyone here, we came as one body of students but will soon go our own separate ways, some never crossing paths again as we pursue the next parts of our lives,” he said during his speech.
“This is the first time in our lives where the next page is blank and we hold the pen. Some of us are headed to university or college. Others are going into the trades or straight into the workforce. It could mean continuing towards a career in sports, art, music or even travelling across the globe.”
Wowk did have a busy life with soccer, piano lessons, student council and volunteering, but he was always focused on his studies, not relying solely on his natural intelligence and classroom abilities.
“Not only does he have outstanding academic ability, he’s also got an unmatched work ethic,” said CCHS principal Todd Sieben.
“He’ll put in as many hours as a student who struggles … just to make sure he knows the information.”
Wowk is driven to succeed. He has been conditionally accepted into the University of Alberta’s engineering program and currently wants to become a computer engineer, though he knows there is a lot more hard work ahead of him.
“It’s been quite a long journey … sometimes you can’t always hang out with your friends or go to an event because you’ve got a test the next night,” said Wowk of his academic approach.
“You have to give up some of the things in order to put time and energy into your studies but I’m glad it has paid off in the end.”
He has wanted to pursue engineering as a career since he was in Grade 9 when he started attending engineering expos at the U of A.
Wowk was just one example from this class of 149 who will officially graduate this spring. Sieben said there were a dozen students who finished with an overall average higher than 90 per cent and were in contention for valedictorian, requiring an intense filtering program to decide on this year’s honour.
Sieben, however, says perhaps this class’s enduring mark was their citizenship.
“Classes are always compared academically from one to another, but I can honestly say, that everyone is saying, is that this is one of the nicest groups of grads, whether they be academic or not,” he said.
“As a whole, this is a real nice group of kids, just pleasant to deal with … they’re fine young men and women.”