Ecole Valois celebrates a different kind of graduation for the Class of 2020

Graduates gathered on the front lawn of École Valois for their social distanced celebration on Friday, June 19. /Submitted

The graduating class of 2020 at Ecole Valois in Prince Albert met for one last time to celebrate their graduation on Friday, June 19. The school used their schoolyard to safely celebrate the class with friends and family.

Principal Catharine Topping explained that the rain last Friday stopped for a few minutes while they did their presentations.

“We were able to present them with their diplomas and they had some family members there and everybody was kind of spaced apart. We were able to take some pictures in front of the school with the graduates as well with their physical distance anyway but still with having that feeling of graduating and doing those things that usually go along with it,” Topping said.

According to Topping they were able to make something special even without being able to watch videos because of sight problems.

“We thought we weren’t going to be able to do anything the week before it was still all virtual presentations that we thought we were going to have to do but we were able to get together. They were able to get their diplomas in front of their families and their friends so that was nice,”

She explained that students were able to dress in a formal fashion and caps and gowns for such a special day. French teacher Paul Bergeron gave a speech to honour the graduates. The whole event turned into something special for a class unlike any other.

“They were very pleased with being able to see their colleagues, their friends one last time as well. It was kind of an abrupt end for the school year and some of them have seen each other here and there since then but it wasn’t the same because they weren’t in class together,” Topping said.

Topping thought it wrapped up the year in a special way.

“I think it was a nice way to give them a little bit of closure on it as well and to see each other one last time and take a few pictures and be able to really feel like they did accomplish this too Had we not been able to recognize it, it might just feel like the end of another school year, different obviously but not being able to have that feeling of pride that this is the end of their Grade 12 year and they worked hard to get there and we really needed to recognize that,” Topping said.