Elora Holman will deliver a heartfelt and motivational speech to her fellow graduates this Friday as her dedication and hard work have earned her the title of 2024 class valedictorian at Estevan Comprehensive School,

“I’m very excited, but I’m also very, very nervous to give a speech in front of that many people. But I think it will be a good experience,” she said.

One piece of advice she hopes to impress upon the audience is to embrace change.

“Don’t be afraid of change. As we’re moving on to the next chapter of our lives, I think it’s important to embrace change. To be comfortable being uncomfortable in certain situations, and to not let life get the better of you.”

Holman expressed her excitement about the honour, noting that she was nervous in the days leading up to the valedictorian announcement.

She said achieving a 99.6 per cent average was a huge accomplishment, made possible through hard work and determination.

“I think the key to making school easier was not letting things get behind and pile up. I always tried to get everything done as soon as it was assigned and to stay organized and on top of things.”

Maintaining a balance between schoolwork and other commitments was sometimes a struggle, Holman explained. She has worked at Blackbeard's for the last four years, served on the Student Representative Council (SRC), and has volunteered at the Estevan Bible Camp for around eight years. Additionally, she helped out at school sporting events by scorekeeping for basketball and volleyball.

“It was definitely stressful at times, and sometimes I let assignments get the better of me. If I struggled with some of them, I would let it get me down. But overall, I think I managed to stay on top of things and not let them bother me too much if I didn’t get the grade I was hoping for.”

As for her next steps, Holman hopes to follow in the footsteps of her mom and other teachers who have impacted her during her time at ECS.

“Mr. Perkins helped me learn that it’s okay for me not to be perfect 100 per cent of the time and that I don’t have to pretend that I’m okay when I’m not.”

After her time at ECS, Holman plans to enter the field of education with the hope of becoming a secondary teacher, majoring in math and minoring in English.

“Just being an inspiration to kids and helping them through rough times, like some of my teachers helped me, is what I want to be for the next generation.”