Prince Charles Secondary School’s 2020 graduating class celebrated its convocation June 1 in an unorthodox manner. As the students arrived at the school they were greeted by massive banners hanging at the front of the building featuring the images of each grad.
Since provincial health orders limit public gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic, graduation ceremonies were not possible in the traditional manner.
Teachers Brooke Douma and Mary Radonic came up with the idea of the large banner to make the occasion as memorable as possible for the graduating class.
“They were thrilled,” Radonic said. “We had kept it a secret and our principal, Mr. Scott Cobbe, worked hard to ensure our CUPE ground staff would be available to hang the banners this morning before the first group of students arrived.
“Parents and other family members, too, were equally happy to have another indicator of their student’s achievement on display and actively took photos with the banners all day.”
Each of the 98 students took their turn parading from one end of the school to the other via the gymnasium, where graduation gowns were donned. Pylons marked the distance for students to stand apart from each other. They then went through the theatre where diplomas were bestowed by a staff member and pictures taken.
Each graduate took turns signing a Class of 2020 sign before coming out to the front of the building underneath their banner faces.
Graduate Devon Bradford is looking forward to the future, despite how bad things look right now. “I’m headed to Lethbridge to study at the college to become a conservation officer.”
The class was divided on which direction they would head now that they have earned their diplomas. Evans Daybell-Chambers plans to study music and technology in Nelson.
Valedictorian Anna Knudsen was disappointed about not being able to give her speech in front of the class, but felt that the school did a great job organizing the ceremony.
“It’s an honour to be valedictorian, but of course, it was a huge disappointment not to be able to speak in front of my class as a whole. It took away the ability to be personal and directly speak to my classmates. That being said, PCSS did a great job organizing the ceremony, and I’m sure that Cami Kepke will edit a video we’ll all hold close to our hearts for the rest of our lives.”
The graduation event was recorded and will be produced into a YouTube video as a lasting memory of the celebration.