On Saturday, May 27, the Waterloo community came together to celebrate the official Commencement Ceremonies of the Class of 2023!
This special group of seniors represents the first class to experience all four years at Waterloo. Several of their pioneering families enrolled before Waterloo even existed – not knowing their adventures were just beginning…
These students set up shop in the sanctuary at the Church on Congress Avenue before moving into our official school space and making it their own. They dove right into a new and exciting project-based learning model with a totally different schedule and big student showcase events at the end of each trimester.
They successfully navigated a global pandemic, implementing remote/hybrid learning and creative solutions to keep their education alive and engaging. They founded brand-new sports teams, clubs, Mock Trial, and more.
In short, this special class has become a part of Waterloo just as much as Waterloo is now a part of them.
A class to remember
Waterloo’s third annual commencement exercises were clearly marked by joy and friendship.
Salutatorian Asher Proeger first delivered an address celebrating the group’s many milestones, challenges, and achievements. He has no doubt that their time at Waterloo has prepared them to “do great things and leave an impact on the world.”
“We’ve learned to work together to create projects so much bigger than anything we could do on our own… These are accomplishments that we can be proud of for the rest of our lives, and the fact that we have the chance to do something as memorable six times every year is even more amazing.”Asher Proeger, 2023 Salutatorian
Valedictorian Zoe Segrest followed with a heartfelt message for her classmates, celebrating many of her favorite memories of each one.
“I know all of us have so much potential,” she shared. “And I’ve been inspired by all of you.”
“Not only have those teachers encouraged us and developed us academically, but you’ve supported us on a personal level. Many of you have been mentors to me at some point during my years here, especially to Dr. Blosser and our and Dr. Swan. Thank you. I felt so welcomed by all of you. And I know there are adults who care about me besides my parents and family members.”Zoe Segrest, 2023 Valedictorian
The portrait of a graduate
Before the class of 2023 got to cross the stage, each faculty member took a moment to speak to the fundamental skills and character traits cultivated at Waterloo – what we call the portrait of a graduate.
“Schools may aim at test scores, accomplishments, GPAs, many things,” explained Waterloo Director Craig Doerksen. “Our faculty developed a researched list of traits and abilities that are recognized as the most valuable and needed traits in the fast-paced 21st century.”
Perhaps the most surprising part? Academics represent only one-third of the complete picture, with equal focus placed on personal and productive growth. Four years ago, many of these aspects might have felt like little more than a pipe dream for a group of freshmen coming to a school that didn’t exist yet. Nonetheless, the image has now “come into focus,” and the class of 2023 has come to represent the best the school has to offer, an inspiration for future classes.
Together they can go out into the next chapter confident that they have the real-life skills they need to succeed and make the world a better place.
Congrats to the Waterloo Class of 2023!