Gearing up for graduation

Big bottle drive event Jan. 11 one of many local events planned for a safe grad in 2014

Graduation for students on the Saanich Peninsula might be six months away but students, teachers and parents are getting ready for it now.

On the last day of school at Parkland Secondary before Christmas (Dec. 20) members of the 2014 graduation executive committee stood before their peers and asked them to get involved. Already, they are seeking help from their co-graduates to run a big bottle drive at the school parking lot on Jan. 11. And that’s not all.

“If enough of us come out, even for an hour during the bottle drive, it’ll go a long way,” says executive member and Grade 12 student Trevor Bolduc.

Graduation next year, he continued, will be in late June. It sounds like it’s a long way off, but it can come up quickly. He said December has been very busy — not only with his own education and activities, but with grad event planning. With only four students in the group, Bolduc said he hopes more of his peers will step up.

The Dec. 20 meeting with other students, he said, was to raise awareness about what’s going on in preparation for the graduation celebration. He said it normally takes place at the University of Victoria, with dry grad events and more happening back in Sidney at the Mary Winspear Centre.

“I’m looking forward to grad,” he said. It’s an important thing but I try to balance that with things I’m involved in.”

So he knows how tough it can be to get students out to help with events like theme days, semi-formal dance, bottle drives and the upcoming grad fashion show in the spring. That’s why he and committee member Breanna Clooney were handing out flyers detailing the activities of the grad committee right before Christmas holidays.

Parkland Principal Lizanne Chicanot told the crowd that they were a main focus of school life between now and graduation — teachers and parents are working hard to help with the celebration.

As well, she noted there’s a Parkland alumni group working on 40th anniversary events for next year and the grad class will, in some form, be involved.

Chicanot asked the gathered students to ensure they’re on top of their courses for the school year — to ensure that they will be able to graduate in the first place.

The meeting outlined for the students where they can get information on scholarships and that there’s a grad committee Facebook page where they can check for new events and important information they need to know. Chicanot also showed them a text messaging service students can enter on their phones so they can get timely updates.

A list of frequently asked questions about graduation requirements and ceremony is also now up on the school’s main website.

Bolduc added if more students help with fundraising events, they can lower the cost of grad for everyone.

Bolduc said he’s looking forward to some of the community events and fundraisers that are being planned.

“The Parkland grads,” he said, “are always trying to stay connected to the community and in some way, to give back.”

It’s a Parkland tradition for each grad class to come with a legacy gift for the entire school. Bolduc said this year’s class is still working on that and hopes other students will have a say.

 

Parkland Grad Class bottle drive

When: Saturday, Jan. 11,

2014

Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: Parking lot at the

school, 10640

Macdonald Park Rd.