Celebrating HF and STX Graduating Students

Celebrating HF and STX Graduating Students

On Friday 23 June, Grenaa Gymnasium celebrated a total of 38 HF students and 64 STX students in the school’s assembly hall.

True to tradition, the celebration consisted of speeches, community singing, musical performances by students and teachers, grants and, not least, the presentation of the diplomas. 

Feeling connectedness

In her speech, Head of School Helene Bendorff Kristensen started from the need to seek calm and tranquility in everyday life be aware of and remember what affects us positively, because it is what connects us to the world in a good way. Her point was that the increasing number of young people in our time failing to thrive is perhaps mainly due to the fact that there is too little time and room to allow young people to learn to experience the positive connectedness with the world.

– It is important to be able to find peace in the present, in everyday life, in the little things… It is in peace that you best store and remember the small fragments that form who you are and who you become in resonance with yourself, said the the head of school among other things.

Upper-secondary years in a world of mounting challenges

In her graduation speeches Helene Bendorff Kristensen always praises the students for the commitment many of them show in the many extra-curricular activities which turns Grenaa Gymnasium into much more than teaching and written assignments.

“You students have all helped to shape our little micro-cosmos, Grenaa Gymnasium, and all the fun memories you and I will have despite the hardships that the outside world has offered. You have cared for each other showing solidarity and courage to tackle the world’s problems, and not only those far away but also when problems become close, as in the terrible fire we had earlier this year,” said Helene Bendorff Kristensen, referring to the dormitory fire at Campus Djursland earlier this year.

The victim of the fire was one of the students in the assembly hall, and there was an extra round of applause for this student when the diplomas were handed over.

Helene Bendorff Kristensen also touched on major events and trends that have characterized this cohorte’s high school years.

For the STX graduating students, their first year included a period of online teaching due to the Covid 19 epidemic, and in their second year, and the HF students’ first year, the war broke out in Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees flocked the country.

Being a refugee is unfortunately close to the heart of some of this year’s students, because they came to Denmark as refugees from Syria as children. “I am proud that you are sitting here today and finding space for education, to look ahead and let the future shape your lives,” said Helene Bendorff Kristensen.

Artificial intelligence in the graduation speech

Artificial intelligence and the ChatGPT app were also mentioned in the principal’s speech. She had actually asked it to write this year’s graduation speech. A fine speech came out of it and Helene Bendorff Kristensen read parts of it. But it still lacked all the essentials, including not least the life-affirming experiences with the students over the two and three years respectively, which Helene Bendorff Kristensen included in her own speech.

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