After thirteen years of classes, textbooks and exams, Dmitrij Polishuk says the last four years of secondary schooling are among his favourite. 

June 23 is Graduation Day for grade twelve students at Winkler's Garden Valley Collegiate (GVC) and they chose Polishuk as their valedictorian.  

"I've made many memories and have gotten to know fantastic people, who I'll definitely miss and remember. Nevertheless, I understand that life moves on, and I don't worry much about graduation because it doesn't serve as a hindrance to my life.  I enjoyed school and will miss it but I do not believe all good things come to an end after graduation."

Having experienced years of freedom and times of lockdowns and hardships, Polishuk calls this one of the most unique graduating classes in the history of GVC. They were fortunate enough to transition back to the old normal in their final year to finish off their secondary schooling. 

Reflecting on highlights from the past thirteen years, Polishuk says without a doubt, it's the friends he's made along the way. 

"There were great events, but without the people involved in them all throughout the 13 years of my schooling, they would be much less memorable. This involves events as complex as playing on sports teams to as simple as engaging in meaningful class discussions. I'm very grateful to everyone who gave me the opportunity to attend and enjoy school. Though it was difficult at times, I can confidently say it was awesome and well worth it.” 

The soon-to-be-high school graduate says the Class of 2022 is composed of remarkable people who, if life permits, will go on to be doctors, teachers, athletes, and leaders who will make a difference in people's lives.

"My 13 years of school have been fantastic and attending GVC has been nothing short of that. I've learned a lot, both academically and personally, made many memories, and enjoyed it immensely. For this, I thank the faithful Lord, my parents, teachers, other school staff, and of course, my peers. I wish my classmates all the best as they proceed with their lives."

Polishuk's future plans include taking a road trip, co-leading a children's camp and pursuing a post-secondary education while working on launching a fulfilling career. 

145 students will graduate June 23rd from Garden Valley Collegiate.