Class is officially out for the 51 Prince Albert Collegiate Institute graduates who walked across the stage to receive their diplomas on Wednesday.
For students like PACI valedictorian Havana Krawec, it’s been a pressure-filled last year of studying, but she’s grateful for the support from the school and her fellow classmates.
“I can’t breathe,” Krawec chuckled when asked what was going through her head as she received her diploma. “I’m super excited because I worked really hard throughout the year to get to this point. I have a full-time job, plus I’m also a dancer, plus a writer and I was the captain of the poetry team, so doing all that was a lot of pressure. I’m just excited that I was able to exceed my goal of being valedictorian this year.”
Krawec will always remember PACI as a place that helped students grow, both personally and academically. She entered as an overwhelmingly shy student, but quickly became involved in many of the school’s extracurricular activities.
With her high school days behind her, Krawec hopes her classmates were as inspired by her efforts and she was by theirs.
“(It’s) their drive to keep going forward,” she said. “I know a lot of people went through a lot of personal problems, and I’m happy to say that we all made it here today.”
Graduation is normally a bittersweet day for PACI staff, who bid farewell to students they’ve come to know and love, but that’s particularly true for principal Dawne Adams.
This is Adams’ sixth PACI grad, and her last. She’s retiring at the end of the year.
“I’m a little emotional, but just really excited for our students and their futures and what kind of options are available to them and where they will walk,” she said following the ceremony. “We always think of that.”
Adams hopes the Class of 2019 will remember PACI as a place where they gained the confidence to overcome any challenges life throws at them, while also gaining the skills needed to become good citizens. She described the group as a close-knit unit that she’s come to love since they first walked through the doors four years ago.
“This year I see—because I’ve known them since they’ve started at PACI—some really unique individuals, but they’re all really close and they all get along,” Adams said. “That’s something that you don’t always see.”