by Lisa Dalla Vecchia, NVSD Communications
On June 17, 2020, the North Vancouver School District hosted its annual
Superintendent's Celebration of Student Excellence event.
The long-standing district tradition recognizes the top 10% of graduating students across all seven of its secondary schools. Students are selected based on their being well-rounded and exceptional in two or more of the following categories: Leadership, Citizenship, Service, Athletics, Arts, and Academics.
This year, event organizers, a committee of secondary school vice principals, embraced the themes of flexibility and adaptability to redesign the event into a virtual experience.
The event included a musical opening by pianist and Windsor grad Charlie Calla, opening remarks, and interactive student challenges.
Charlie Calla, Windsor grad and event pianist
Dr. James Orbinski, a professor, medical doctor, humanitarian practitioner and advocate, best-selling author, and leading scholar in global health, delivered the keynote address.
In his keynote, Dr. Orbinski spoke about the fundamental importance of participation in life's rituals, such as high school graduation. He advised graduates that while there is no map for the future, there is a compass that will guide each one of them.
He then went on to speak at length about the elements that will help each graduate work toward creating a world that is more fair, more just and more equitable for all: a commitment to learning, commitment to values, commitment to clarity of intentions, the practice of reflection, commitment to wisdom, and courage.
Following the inspiring keynote address, a reading of names from each school took place. The event concluded with Superintendent Mark Pearmain thanking graduating students for their leadership and service to others. He also spoke to the importance of working to make the world a better place through compassion, compromise, collaboration, and a focus on the "we" vs. "me".
Superintendent Mark Pearmain addresses graduating students
This year's event was well "attended". While there was an opportunity for limited in-person attendance, the new format allowed the majority of guests to participate virtually: students, family members, school district staff, school administration and staff, North Vancouver Board of Education Trustees, and the Mayors of the City and District of North Vancouver.
On behalf of the North Vancouver School District, congratulations to this year's graduates!