Penticton valedictorians keeping audience in suspense

Jon Hack and Dana Klamut are this year
Jon Hack and Dana Klamut are this year's Princess Margaret Secondary School valedictorians. They deliver their speech at the convocation ceremony on Thursday night.
— image credit: Joe Fries/Western News

If their first of career choices don’t work out, Princess Margaret Secondary School’s newest valedictorians may find work as performers, since they already know about building audience anticipation.

Dana Klamut, 17, and Jon Hack, 18, are set to deliver their valedictory speech at the school’s convocation ceremony on Thursday at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. They’re not, however, giving away much about their address in advance.

“That will be a surprise on the night of graduation,” said Klamut, who allowed only that the theme of the speech is “unique.”

“When we started writing it, we were told: make them laugh, make them cry, and give them something to think about. Those were our guidelines.”

The two have been friends since Grade 6 and were chosen in April by their peers to be valedictorians. In the months that followed, they each wrote a speech, then combined their efforts to come up with a single version.

Hack is optimistic there will be a few smiles in the audience.

“We hope to get a couple laughs. It’ll be tough up there if there’s nothing, no reaction,” he said with a grin, “but I think it’ll be good.”

In the fall, Hack will begin studying engineering at the University of Calgary, while Klamut will attend the UBC-Okanagan for math and computer science.

Both valedictorians have spent most of their time away from school playing sports and volunteering wherever they were needed. And both are already a little wistful about their soon-to-be-former high school.

“It’s hard to be sad, because it was so good,” Klamut said. “It’s a happy place and we have all these good memories, but at the same time, you don’t want to leave because it’s familiar.”



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