Belmont valedictorian Molly McDowell-Powlowski will be graduating alongside approximately 400 other Grade 12 students at ceremonies Saturday (June 7) at the University of Victoria. Her high school experience has taught her a lot

Belmont’s Class of 2014 ready to say so long

A multi-talented group of West Shore students prepare for the next stage of life

Molly McDowell-Powlowski leaves Belmont secondary with mixed emotions.

It hasn’t always been easy, but the soon-to-be graduate said her three years at the school are a collective experience she will always remember.

“Even though we are all nervous and kind of scared in what comes next, from the students’ perspective it is great to finally see the fruits of our labour,” she says. “To see that community at the end of it, that is a great feeling.”

The school valedictorian leads Belmont’s 2014 graduating class into Saturday’s (June 7) ceremony at the University of Victoria, leaving behind a faculty and staff she says taught her not only the value of academics, but community.

Students and teachers working together on initiatives such as the food drive 10,000 Tonight – roughly 20,000 items were collected for the Goldstream Food Bank last December – were also important pieces of her education, she adds.

“From a student perspective it is not an easy three years. You are finding yourself and figuring out who you are,” said McDowell-Powlowski, 17.

“It’s incredible. Any teacher, any administrator, you are able to approach them and get help whenever you need. The faculty are the most inspirational people and you always have someone to look up to and go to. We wouldn’t be here at grad without the amazing staff.”

The 400 or so students who will graduate from Belmont this year are the second-to-last class to graduate from the existing school building. The school moves to a new location nearby for the 2015-2016 year.

“The neat thing about this year is they have been here for three years and I will have been here for three years, so we are going to be graduating together,” said principal Ray Miller, laughing. “The only problem is I will be back in September and they (won’t be).”

Besides that special connection, he feels mixed emotions seeing the students, many of whom he knows by name, start the next chapter of their lives.

“This has been an amazing experience as an educator, to see the last three years of their education pathway,” he said. “The system is designed for a lot of creativity and choice and that is what we typically see, students finding their passion and finding their dreams.”

McDowell-Powlowski, too, is proud of the students she’ll graduate beside and looks forward to seeing what the future holds. “It is through your peers you can really find yourself. My friends are my role models – these are the people who have such caring hearts.

“What I have seen from so many Belmont students, when they put their passion and hearts into something, (they are) unstoppable. I am honoured to represent this group of people, because I know what is in store for them is an amazing, bright future. It is an amazing thing to see where it all starts.”

Two ceremonies happen for Belmont students at the Farquhar Auditorium at UVic, one at 11 a.m. and the other at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

alim@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Saanich school grapples with death of 13-year-old

Teenager died after being struck and pinned by tree while on a field trip near Sooke

No boozing while BC Ferries cruising

Planned June launch for alcohol sales delayed

UPDATE: Firefighters bring Sooke wildfire under control

Firefighters responded to a wildfire that burned an area about 100 by… Continue reading

UPDATE: Victoria teen killed on field trip near Sooke

Second youth also injured in incident at Camp Barnard

New map a welcome addition for Victoria dog owners

UVic student maps out hundreds of pet-friendly locations across Greater Victoria

VIDEO: Rare white killer whale captured by drone near Campbell River

The transient orca has been named Tl’uk, a Coast Salish word that means ‘moon.’

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

B.C. imposes interim moratorium on resource development to protect caribou

The caribou population in northeastern B.C. has dwindled over the last two decades

Students disciplined after anti-LGBTQ signs posted in Kamloops high school

Vessy Mochikas, SD73’s principal for inclusive education, called incident a learning opportunity

Air Canada expects Boeing 737 Max to resume flying by September or October

Air Canada isn’t worried about safety of the planes, says vice-president

‘The Fonz’ gives thumbs up in letter to dyslexic students at B.C. school

Students in Maple Ridge reached out to Henry Winkler after reading one his Zipster books.

PHOTOS: MP Mark Warawa loses brief battle with cancer

The Conservative Member of Parliament and long-time community advocate died in hospice this morning

Commercial fishers in B.C. now required to wear life-jackets on deck: WorkSafeBC

WorkSafeBC reports 24 work-related deaths in the commercial fishing industry between 2007 and 2018

Most Read