Selkirk College Valedictorians Epitomize Spirit of Accomplishment

Bob Hall
By Bob Hall
May 17th, 2024

Carrying forward the power of community nurtured at Selkirk College into the broader world is the ambition of the Class of 2024 co-valedictorians.

Convocation 2024 takes place at the Castlegar Campus on May 30 with two different ceremonies that celebrate the graduating class. Contemporary Music & Technology Program graduate Jay Porteous and Recreation, Fish & Wildlife Program graduate Holly Macris have been chosen to represent their peers.

This year’s graduating class includes 1,033 learners across all college programs who will receive a credential. Convocation day provides a moment to reflect on accomplishments and set sights on bright futures.

“It’s easy to see the problems in the world as something too big to have an impact on, but if everyone makes a small change then we have the collective power to make a big difference,” says Macris. “People come from all over the world to attend Selkirk College and I really believe that our graduating class has this ability. If we can take what our
college experience has given us in whatever area we are in and work to make a difference, then we can have a really big impact.”

Complete with a little rock n’ roll snarl that goes along with her educational pathway of choice, Porteous is confident her fellow graduates are ready to make a raucous impact in their budding careers.

“We rock and we’re going to kick some ass in our career fields!” says Porteous. “There are so many super talented people that I have met in all Selkirk College programs. Now armed with all the knowledge we have been given, we are so ready to tackle what comes next. The people I have met over the last three years are so passionate, success is
certain to follow.”

Arriving to Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus straight out of high school in her hometown of Kelowna, Porteous chose the unique Contemporary Music & Technology Program because she wanted to dive deeper into her passion. Gregarious and possessing boundless energy, Porteous immediately found her community and became a respected
leader across all programs.

“To put it simply… the best decision of my life to come here,” says the 21-year-old. “It was everything I needed out of a program to do what I want to do with my music. I wanted to learn everything about music and Selkirk College was the answer. It helped me develop my skills as a musician on my chosen instrument, but also provided a well-rounded education in all of the things that make up music as a whole. It’s the backbone and it makes this program special.”

A quiet leader within her cohort and an active contributor to overall student life on the Castlegar Campus, Macris grew up in rural Batemans Bay on Australia’s South Coast. A star student who pours energy into her own work and helps boost those around her,

Macris was recognized by faculty for her team approach to learning. Having returned to post-secondary in her late-20s to receive tangible hands-on education, Macris has already landed a job with the Department of Fisheries & Oceans based out of Whitehorse, Yukon where she is an aquatics technician doing work that includes sonar monitoring in areas near the Arctic Circle. She encourages all fresh college alumni to embrace lifelong learning.

“I came back to post-secondary with a feeling that I needed to challenge myself because there is more that I can learn, give back and contribute to the world,” Macris says. “I came to Selkirk College knowing I wanted to learn and I am leaving knowing there is so, so much more to learn. My curiously has grown over the last two years. It’s about not
putting that limit on yourself about having to achieve something by a certain time. I think we can continue learning throughout our lives and keep improving ourselves, that’s really something that I will leave with after my two years.”

Selkirk College opened its doors to regional post-secondary learning in September 1966with a class of 458 charter  students and the first graduation ceremony took place in thespring of 1968. Since that time, thousands have graduated into successful careers from a wide range of programs that have evolved over the decades.

Categories: EducationGeneral


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