The Gleaner

Arthur-Pigeon honours the class of 2024

École Arthur-Pigeon high school in Huntingdon lauded its 2024 graduates on June 14, with the traditional year-end celebration of student perseverance and success.

The 87 members of the graduating class filed into the school gymnasium led by bagpiper Shawn McNamee to a standing ovation from the packed audience. Principal Mélanie Gallant welcomed the graduates and their proud families before introducing this year’s honourary president for the evening’s ceremony.

Each year, the school seeks out a candidate from among its impressive pool of alumni to inspire the students with their achievements and chosen career path. This year, the honour was conferred on Karine Gosselin, the president of Gosselin Courtier d’Assurances and a member of the 2007 graduating class from Arthur-Pigeon.


The graduating class of 2024 from École Arthur Pigeon ended their graduation ceremony with the traditional cap toss on June 14 PHOTO Sarah Rennie


During a brief speech, Gosselin reminded the students of their “incredible ability to transform the world with their boldness, creativity, and boundless energy. Don’t be afraid to start discussions, to challenge the established rules, to look for new solutions, or to shake up the status quo. This unique way of seeing things is the key to our advancement as a society. I firmly believe in you, in your ability to believe in yourself, to pursue your dreams, even when obstacles stand in your way,” she said.

Gosselin then encouraged the graduates to go out and discover the world, but to consider returning to settle in the region. “The Haut-Saint-Laurent has a lot to offer young people. It’s a promising region, with an exceptional quality of life, magnificent landscapes, a dedicated community, and numerous economic opportunities that are currently booming,” she explained, while pointing out it was possible to achieve a prosperous future while contributing to their home community.


The class valedictorians Aurélie Chartrand and Damien Théorêt addressed their classmates with a funny but poignant speech PHOTO Sarah Rennie


Before distributing the diplomas, Gallant turned to address the graduates. “Your determination and commitment have left their mark on Arthur Pigeon, each in your own way,” she said, while encouraging the students to have confidence in their abilities and to remain open to all the wonderful moments that may present themselves on their path forward. “On this graduation day, each and every one of you is a symbol of success, whether you’re pursuing your studies, the world of work, or any other adventure you may undertake. You and I know it hasn’t always been easy. Be proud of yourselves, because we are proud of you.”

Valedictorians Aurélie Chartrand and Damien Théorêt then delivered a nostalgic speech filled with memorable moments between classmates and school staff. “Every year we look forward to the last day of school, but this year is different for us… It is the last time we will all see each other at the same time, in the same place, with the same people,” they said. “Many of our paths may never cross again, but our time at this school has left an indelible mark on our memories,” they added, before thanking their classmates for their time together.


Elina Bourdeau was presented with the Governor Generals Medal for the highest overall academic achievement of the graduating class PHOTO Sarah Rennie


The presentation of numerous awards, bursaries, and scholarships sponsored by various businesses, organizations, and municipalities through the Fondation Arthur-Pigeon took place in various segments throughout the ceremony. Over $12,000 in total was awarded to students for their academic success and effort in different subject areas.

The final awards of the evening included prizes for outstanding academic achievement, which were presented to Fanny Meyer and Simon Vinet. The Governor General’s Medal and the award for the highest academic achievement was then awarded to Elina Bourdeau, whose name, along with that of the honourary president, were added to the school’s Tableau d’Excellence to close out the ceremony.

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