"We will always hold North Queens in our heart"

Nick Moase
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Through tears and laughter, the North Queens Community School class of 2014 walked across the stage for the final time to begin a new chapter in their life on June 26. 

The night brought several guest speakers to the stage to both congratulate the students and give them a few words of advice.

Elliot Payzant, Queens County rep for the South Shore Regional School Board, said he holds a special place for the school. He graduated from the school 55 years ago, and has been coming to the graduations at the school for the last 20.

"You come from one of the best communities in Nova Scotia," he said.

Mitch Bird, a teacher and coach at the school, was the guest speaker for the evening.

Student Carter Feltham introduced Bird to the audience, giving a few words about the impact he had on their class. One of the most respected aspects was how he was focused on developing the students.

"He was there for us, not the score," said Feltham.

Bird started his speech by saying he was not going to give some long winded sagely advice to motivate them.

"Motivation is something that needs to come from within," he said. "If graduating high school to do what you want to do, to call your own shots, and carve your own path in life, if that's not motivation enough for you then I think you should get your pulse checked."

Instead he thanked them for being his students and players on the teams he coached.

"You all have had a lasting impression on me," he said. "Without you, this school would not be the way it is today.

"Some of my fondest memories are sharing the bench, having some of those funny side conversations we had."

On one long car ride home from a game that stuck out in his mind was student Carter Feltham singing "Wrecking Ball" at the top of her lungs for the trip.

As for what it takes to succeed, Bird quoted a study done on what made students successful after school.

"We all know your ability to do well in life depends on much more than your ability learn quickly and easily," he said.

The best determinant on success turned out to be grit.

"Grit is passion and perseverance for the very long term goals," he said.

Breagh Lane was the class valedictorian for 2014, and spoke fondly of her time at the school.

"We will always hold North Queens in our heart"

Lane moved to North Queens from Scotland in elementary school. Coming from a school of 10 at the time, North Queens was an adventure, she said.

She remembers classmates showing her around the school, telling her which teachers she would like and those she might not. Over the years she came to know them all.

"I like think that we consider ourselves family," she said.

Now though, it was coming to a close.

"Somehow, through tears and laughter, last minute assignments and failed tests, achievements and dull days, we've made it to the end," she said.

Lane said there is going to be a case of "graduation goggles" for them all.

Graduation goggles is the relief and nostalgia feeling when a time of life is about to end, even if it was completely miserable.

"It's time we move on, and I know we'll make the most of it," she said. "We have to finish that final sentence, take a breath and turn the page."

Organizations: South Shore Regional School Board

Geographic location: North Queens, Queens, Nova Scotia Scotland

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