Head's Message to Grade 10s at the MYP Leaving Ceremony

Thank you for joining us to formally celebrate our students who are completing the IB Middle Years Programme today. We are very proud of each student for their enthusiastic and persevering engagement that is allowing them to move forward in realizing their potential throughout life.

Congratulations to those of you who are celebrating your completion of the MYP today. This is an important milestone on the wonderful journey that is your life.

You have impressed all of us with the energy and enthusiasm you put forth and the degree to which you are continuing to develop your abilities in all the components of being an IB Learner at GNS. You always continually evolving as Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced, Reflective, and Persevering.

You know that the adults in the Hall today are happily celebrating your progress. That being said, I believe you also know that your teachers, your parents and I are not the most important people to be pleased by your progress.

YOU are the most important person to please with your development in academics, arts, athletics and citizenship.

Through the course of your life you we are confident that you will choose to embrace and enjoy new opportunities, new adventures and new demands. We are also confident that you will keep developing and growing AND make many positive differences in the world.

With that in mind I want to tell you about my friend Mike from my days in High School. Mike wanted to "have it made" at age 45.

Mike's definition of having it made was roughly this:

  • A good job,
  • A big house,
  • A wife, two children and a car (one of those big station wagons with wood paneling on the side)
  • And voila, he'd have it made and then life would just sort of drift along blissfully.

I had the good fortune to bump into Mike in Vancouver recently and asked if his perspective had changed now that he was in his mid-fifties. It had. He was still focused on having it made, but Mike told me that after 37 years he believes that "having it made" involves these components:

  • Understanding that every day is an opportunity to enjoy learning something new.
  • Understanding that every day is an opportunity to get closer to solving some challenging problems that matter.
  • Understanding that every day is an opportunity to keep helping to make the world an even better place.
  • Understanding that every day is an opportunity to enjoy great times with family, friends, the members of your community and beyond.

Mike summed things up by saying, "It's not about getting to some place and then having it made. Instead, having it made is recognizing how fortunate we are to engage fully in life's day to day adventures."

So here's my advice for you today. As part of today's milestone and as part of every day, embrace what Mike has learned.

Set your sights on continuing to learn, to achieve and to enjoy the challenges and rewards with the people around you. Embrace each opportunity you have to grow while looking after yourself and others.

Your actions to this point have demonstrated that you are more than ready to embrace each day as part of "having it made." Statistics Canada tells us that the odds are very good that you will live to be more than 80 years old. That's a whole lot of days ahead to enjoy having it made.

As you look to your future, I am confident that your family, your friends, your teachers and later your partner, your professors, your colleagues, your mentors and others will be inspired by how much you are engaged in each day and, as a result, they will be keen to join you and assist—and you will "have it made" even more.

So, in closing: congratulations on getting to this milestone in such fine fashion. As you move through today, tomorrow, the next day and every day after that, I encourage you to think of my buddy Mike and keep choosing to live your day in a way that shows you know you "have it made."

by Glenn Zederayko, Head of School