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East Kootenay schools uniquely celebrating 2020 graduating classes

The various Secondary Schools in the East Kootenay are celebrating their 2020 graduating class in various ways, whether it be through virtual ceremonies, drive-thru celebrations, or personalized visits, each school has a unique plan in place.

Mount Baker Secondary School – Cranbrook

Cranbrook’s Mount Baker Secondary School will be holding their commencement with a “Drive-Thru Celebration” on Thursday, June 25th starting at 5:00 pm.

“The Drive-Thru will be organized alphabetically by the graduates’ last names and the route will take you by the school (Baker Street) where there will be music, a photographer and staff wishing our grads well along the way,” said Mount Baker in an official update on the school’s website.

Every graduate will be getting a gift bag, along with their certificate of completion and any scholarships they may have been awarded.

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Following social distancing protocols, a family may still walk through the event and receive their items if they don’t have a vehicle.

MORE: Graduation 2020 (Mount Baker Secondary)

Selkirk Secondary School – Kimberley

On Thursday, June 25th, a virtual ceremony is being held for the 2020 graduates in Kimberley, featuring a speech from the Valedictorian and Superintendent, as well as a video message from school staff, and a graduation video.

In-person graduation ceremonies will be taking place on Friday and Saturday at Selkirk Secondary, with a typical march, diploma presentation, grad gifts, and scholarship and bursary presentations.

“The plan is to have a series of mini-ceremonies held in the Selkirk gymnasium,” said Selkirk Secondary. “It will be a formal event and we will ensure that we honour the integrity of graduation. We have hired a professional photographer to capture the moment.”

Since the school is limited to gatherings under 50 people, groups of eight grads will be put through a ceremony at a time, with a maximum of four guests for each graduating student, which can only include parents, guardians, and immediate family.

Meanwhile, parents have organized a “Reverse Parade” for the 2020 Selkirk Secondary graduates rather than the usual march through the Kimberley Platzl.

The parade will allow vehicles to drive by and see the grads starting at 1:00 pm on Friday, June 26th along Rotary Drive. Any vehicles wanting to enter the parade to see the physically distanced graduates should enter at the Kimberley Civic Centre parking lot from Archibald Street to then proceed down Rotary Drive towards the Kimberley Skatepark.

Organizers are asking that family partake in the parade between 1:00 pm and 1:30 pm on Friday, while the general public is asked to drive through from 1:30 pm to 2:00 pm. An important note is that traffic isn’t allowed to stop during the parade, and vehicles must keeping moving due to COVID-19 rules and regulations.

MORE: Graduation 2020 (Selkirk Secondary)

David Thompson Secondary – Invermere

Invermere’s David Thompson Secondary is holding three days of celebrations for their graduating class.

Virtual ceremonies are being live-streamed on Facebook.

The first ceremony got underway at 10:00 am on Wednesday.

MORE: Graduation 2020 (David Thompson Secondary)

Fernie Secondary – Fernie

Fernie Secondary School will be holding a full graduation ceremony that will be live-streamed on Friday, June 26th at 11:00 am.

The only people in physical attendance will be the 43 graduating students and graduation organizers. All students will have a staggered entrance to maintain physical distancing.

The ceremony will include all typical features including certificate presentations, photos, scholarship and bursary presentations, speeches from the valedictorian and staff, and closing remarks.

Following the ceremony, the grads will be standing just outside the school from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm so parents and friends can drive the loop and celebrate the graduating class.

MORE: Graduation 2020 (Fernie Secondary)

Elkford Secondary – Elkford

A more personal approach is being taken by Elkford Secondary School as staff and administration will be having front yard celebrations with graduating students.

With a graduating class of about 30 students, each will be getting a personal visit on Thursday, June 25th.

The graduates will be presented with their certificate and any other accomplishments during the 10 to 15 minute stop as each student’s home.

All of the families have been informed of their meeting time for the personalized celebration.

Sparwood Secondary – Sparwood

While all of the schools will be celebrating over the coming days, Sparwood Secondary already held their graduation on Tuesday, June 23rd.

The ceremony featured the 40 physically distanced graduates, as each student was individually recognized and called to the stage to receive their diploma and scholarships.

As each graduate was honoured, their parents were able to enter the Sparwood Secondary School Gymnasium to watch their child graduate, while the event was also live-streamed virtually for others that were not able to attend.

“We are sad that the ceremony cannot be open to the public as our grad has always been a community event.”

Following the celebration, an escort by RCMP and the Fire Department drove through Sparwood with grad banners hanging in the community.

2020 Graduation Yearbook

Leading up to graduation, MyEastKootenayNow.com compiled photos of all graduating classes in SD5 and SD6 (Golden and Elkford did not participate) for the general public to celebrate the various students that are graduating this year.

Students that were missed or are homeschooled can submit their own photos to the webpage.

MORE: 2020 Graduation Yearbook (MyEastKootenayNow)

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