Graduation: Valedictorian Insights

May 21, 2024

Graduation: Valedictorian Insights

Spring is a special time at Stratford Chefs School, it’s graduation season!

One of our favourite days each year is Graduation Day in early June, when we celebrate the accomplishments of our hardworking students, as they officially graduate and receive their Stratford Chefs School Diplomas!

The happiness and pride in the room is palpable, along with the joy and camaraderie as the class group comes together again a few months after finishing the School year, to celebrate their accomplishments with family and friends.

Awards are given out to acknowledge exceptional achievement and, of course, the Class Valedictorian – decided by class vote – gives their Speech. The insights and observations of our Class Valedictorian are well worth sharing. Please enjoy Jonathon Farrell’s wonderful Valedictorian Address, recorded at our Class of 2023 Graduation Ceremony.


Valedictorian Jonathon Farrell speaks at Stratford Chefs School Graduation 2023.

“The intersection of education, hospitality and passion at which the Stratford Chefs School staff live and work is phenomenal, and the dedication and care that they each bring to every aspect of their role at the Chefs School is the reason that this institution is so special.

I’ve learned so very much about this industry and about life while I’ve been here, but the biggest lesson I will take away from any of this is the importance of giving a damn. All of you give a damn, and it has changed lives at this place since 1983.” -Jonathon Farrell, Class of 2023 Valedictorian

Graduation 2024 is around the corner, we look forward to sharing photos with you soon!


Stratford Chefs School is a not-for-profit Career College focused on the innovative, hands-on training of high-quality, aspiring Chefs and Culinary Entrepreneurs. The School’s vision is to be the primary training and education source of choice for tomorrow’s culinary leaders, and to train students with a culture code of excellence, innovation, collaboration, and respect.

Established in 1983, Stratford Chefs School has set the standard of excellence for culinary training in Canada, graduating nearly 900 alumni who contribute to a distinctive Canadian cuisine. The unique Apprenticeship program provides students with a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of classical cuisines and the business elements of operating successful restaurants in today’s market. Stratford Chefs School is one of Canada’s most successful and respected culinary institutions and is continually evolving to meet the needs of its students and the culinary community.

Photos by Terry Manzo (SCS Class of 1985)

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