Monday June 6, 2022 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated June 27, 2022]
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
Grade 12 students in Sooke School District (SD62) will celebrate their graduation in-person this June, for the first time in two years.
The COVID pandemic public health restrictions were the culprit for interrupting normal grad ceremony activities in June 2020 and June 2021, not only for SD62’s four high schools, but all secondary schools throughout the province.
2022 Grad Ceremonies:
Graduation ceremonies took place for students from Edward Milne Community School and Royal Bay Secondary School this past weekend, while students from Belmont Secondary School and the Westshore Learning Centre are looking forward to their ceremonies which are fast approaching in the next two weeks.
|EMCS Ticketed event for Friends/Family only. In-person.||Sat. June 4||1:00 p.m.||UVic / 142 grads|
|Royal Bay Ticketed Event for friends and family. Virtual streaming option for families.||Sun. June 5||11 a.m. & 2 p.m.||UVic / 314 grads|
|Belmont Ticketed Event for friends and family. Virtual streaming option for families.||Sun. June 12||11 a.m. & 3 p.m.||UVic / 344 grads|
|Westshore Friends/Family only. In-person.||Tues. June 21||4:00 p.m.||Westin Bear Mountain Resort / # of grads to come|
From the three main high schools that’s 800 grads from Sooke and the west shore!
Dates & venues:
===== Edward Milne Community School (EMCS) celebrated their new grads on Saturday June 4 in a ceremony held at UVic’s Farquhar Auditorium. Principal Mike Huck addressed the assembly.
Class Valedictorian Tija Dalep and Indigenous Valedictorians Carina and Clare Strong were graciously welcomed students, friends, and families to EMCS’s first in-person graduation ceremony since June 2019.
EMCS Class Historians Samantha Ostropolski and Oli Nicholson reflected on the accomplishments of the school’s student body which faced unprecedented challenges during the pandemic.
SD62 Superintendent School Stinson posted on Twitter: “Congratulations to the 2022 graduates of Edward Milne Community School. The staff of @SD62_Sooke are proud of you.”
EMCS is the high school (Grades 9 to 12) within the District of Sooke.
===== Royal Bay Secondary School also celebrated the achievements of their graduating class this past weekend. Their graduation ceremony was held in-person on Sunday June 5 and was live-streamed for those who could not be there. A total of 314 graduates walked across the stage of the Farquhar Auditorium where the event took place.
The ceremony opened with a territorial recognition by Rick Peter, followed by speeches from SD62 Trustee and Board Chair Ravi Parmar and MLA Mitzi Dean (Esquimalt-Metchosin). The Royal Bay Class Valedictorians included Aiya Snider, Max Thompson, and Indigenous Valedictorian Annalise Steadman. The 2022 grad class added their own unique flair to the year by performing an original grad song, composed by student Remy Lassner.
SD62 Superintendent Scott Stinson posted on Twitter: “Such an amazing group. Our future is in good hands.”
Royal Bay Secondary School (Grades 9 to 12) is located in Colwood.
===== Belmont Secondary School will soon celebrate their grads in two ceremonies to be held on June 12. The ceremonies will celebrate the achievements of the school’s 344 graduates in-person and will also be held at the UVic Auditorium. Family and friends will have the option to live-stream the event from home if they are unable to attend.
Belmont boasts two valedictorians this year. Emily Hanna is the Indigenous Valedictorian, selected by the Belmont Na’tsa’maht Indigenous Education Team, and Danny Baxter is the Class Valedictorian, voted in by the Belmont Grad Class.
Belmont Secondary School (Grades 9 to 12) is located in Langford.
===== Westshore Learning Centre will hold an in-person graduation ceremony at Westin Bear Mountain Resort on Tuesday June 21. The graduating class will be represented by Class Valedictorians Adam Claxton and Casey Gillis.
The Westshore Leaning Centre has three campuses (one in each of Langford, Colwood and Sooke) and is home to many students in adult and alternative graduation programs who will be eager to celebrate their achievements at the school’s first in-person ceremony since the pandemic.
The broader community:
The broader community is proud of grads. Not only as parents but also family friends, employers, group organizers, and many others in your community. They see your growth and share your sense of accomplishment.
Parenting is to be commended for the contribution it makes to the larger whole.
The 2021-2022 school year has come to a close. On Twitter, SD62 posted this to grads: “We are proud of all of our graduates across and grateful for the time they have shared with us. We can’t wait to see what you do next!”
===== Remarks from Premier John Horgan: [UPDATE JUNE 27]
Premier John Horgan posted on Twitter today an excerpt from one of the speeches he’s given to high school grads this month.
“The Class of 2022 has faced every challenge with courage and determination. Whatever path they choose to follow, I know this year’s grads are ready to build a better world,” was the message in the Tweet.
In the audio clip Horgan said: “Surely you’ve all heard unprecedented this and unprecedented that. But you will be the class that your children and grandchildren will look back on as the first to go through adversity at such an early age. Generations before you have dealt with war, or economic depression, and a range of other issues. But it has been over a hundred years since a group of kids had to make their way through a global pandemic to become young adults. So I lift my hands to all of you, and I know that the parents, grandparents, guardians, siblings, and all those who supported getting you here are so proud of this moment. This is your time in the sun.”
Then with his typical wry humour, Horgan concluded: “Tomorrow, they want you to get off the couch, and get a job! Sorry about that!” That was met with laugh and applause.
===== About the writer:
Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Cert PR, is a mother of four now-adult children who attended schools in SD61, SD62 and SD72.
Now the editor of Island Social Trends, she has been publishing on the west shore since 2008, covering many SD62 grad ceremonies over the years.