The word valedictory is derived from the Latin “valedīcere,” which means “to say goodbye”, hence this rite of passage is a poignant time for all members of the AISHK community. For the teachers it is a moment to reflect on the success and development of our young people; for parents, an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and growth of their child. For the student body, a juncture to consider their own goals and aspirations, and to appreciate the contributions of their student leaders. For the graduating class, it is a time to be grateful for their opportunities, a time to celebrate all their achievements, and a time for excitement for their next adventure.
All of these stakeholders had an opportunity to come together and celebrate the AISHK Class of 2021 during the valedictory dinner and assembly. On Friday night, teachers, parents, and Year 12 students came together to share a meal and to toast each other’s contribution to the feat of finishing secondary school.
The following Monday morning, Year 12 graduates and their families, joined the entire school community: students, staff, the executive, and board members, for the Valedictory Assembly. The community heard from the graduating class about their memories, their defining traits, and what they are most proud of. Janice Hung and Moses Chan shared their stories of being AISHK students. Sherre Tsang and Ethan Ward spoke about the importance of the rite of passage of the Valedictory celebrations. Our 2021 school captains, Mariko Walsh and Marcus Chan, spoke on behalf of the graduates and thanked the community for all their support. Subject prizes were awarded and each student was presented with a portfolio to mark their time at AISHK. The assembly finished with the lovely AISHK tradition of our prep students escorting the class of 2021 out of the auditorium for the last time.
In her toast to the class of 2021, The Head of Year, Ms Aileen O’Donnell best captured the essence of the valedictory celebration:
“Each and every one of you is a credit to your parents and to our school, Year 12, and we love and admire you just the way you are. If I may give you one last piece of advice, it would be to stay true to the ‘you’ of today. Of course I know you will change as you will grow, but please do it at your own pace and on your own terms. No matter where your future endeavours take you, you will forever remain a valued part of AISHK’s international family.”