Celebrating Graduates in SD73

Posted On Wednesday May 04, 2022

By Cara McKelvey, Trustee

May 4, 2022

The Board of Education looks forward to celebrating students’ accomplishments in person at SD73 graduation ceremonies in 2022.  It has been two years since we have had the opportunity to do so in person, and this makes this year very special for students, parents, families, extended families, friends, and community members. While the excitement of getting together cannot be overstated, it is also timely to look back and consider the valuable lessons learned and how much we have to appreciate and be grateful for as a community.

Over the last two years, there have been so many creative ways that school staffs and families have come together to celebrate graduation while also following safety measures (maintaining social distances and cohorts). There were “parking lot” graduations where cars parked and  families watched as a cohort of students stood together to experience the feeling of walking along a red carpet while dressed in graduation gowns, tuxedos, suits, and graduation hats and being greeted by staff and school leaders who gave them their diplomas. There were schedules to get graduation pictures in non-traditional locations (outside on the steps, grass, fields, and empty gymnasiums).  Many schools set up stations where teachers had grad books to sign and activities to commemorate the graduates. There were graduation marches on sidewalks for others to wave, watch, and honk horns. While all of these creative ways of graduating were taking place, most were live streamed and/or recorded for rewatching and sharing with those who could not attend.

While it was not easy living through these non-traditional graduations, we also learned about how far our staff, parents, and students would go to be together, to celebrate graduates, and to share in making good memories through pictures, videos, and experiences. In many ways, we witnessed the best of who we are in SD73– willing to go the extra mile to ensure that our students and families had a chance to celebrate this milestone of completing high school and entering into a adult phase of life, in whatever form that took–taking a “gap” year, entering a post-secondary, continuing in a trades program and work experience, to name a few.

As we enter into May, June, and July, I am proud to be a trustee in School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson). I am looking forward to taking part in graduation ceremonies, to seeing familiar faces and smiles (and even some tears) as our children cross the stage this May, June, and July. For a schedule of graduation ceremonies, go to the SD73 website.

This column appeared in Kamloops This Week: View from SD73 on May 4, 2022

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