This I Believe

Graduation is a special time for students, and at Shawnigan, there is so much to celebrate and reflect on as their final year of high school comes to a close. Students in English 12 have a unique assignment for their final weeks: a challenge to compose and deliver original speeches in a similar style to the legendary radio program called “This I Believe,” created in the 1950s by Edward R. Murrow. For this namesake project, the class embarked on a writing journey to create a memorable speech that reflects on their time at the School and the core values that have guided their daily lives. Starting with the words, “This I believe,” students shared a wide range of topics and stories in their speeches, which they presented in class. 18 presenters were then selected by their peers to participate in an evening showcase.
Now in its eighth year at Shawnigan, the evening of speeches covered a range of topics from resilience, perseverance, and taking opportunities to having a warm heart and loving your inner self, all accurately measuring the quality of student thinking and emotion. From laughter and tears to fears and bravery, the students’ powerful words spoke to the experiences of years gone by and the anticipation and excitement of what lies ahead. For everyone present, the topics covered were wide-ranging and personal, a touching and memorable way to finish their final high school English class. 

As English teacher Hayley Francois reflects: “It was a special night for the students and the staff. The personal stories that were shared were a balance of heartfelt, hilarious, and reflective. Each speech was received with standing ovations by the audience. The atmosphere felt like a genuine coming together of everyone, as the graduating class gathered as a group for one of the last times. It was a night to remember!”
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.