It's that time of year when Peace Wapiti Public School Division's (PWSD's) motto, Educating today for success tomorrow, rings truer than ever. The coming weekend will see the start of a succession of graduation ceremonies throughout the Division.
First up is PWSD's Grande Prairie-based high school, Peace Wapiti Academy, with a commencement ceremony for 96 graduates scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 2 at Evergreen Park's ENTREC Centre. The event will feature guest speaker Principal Mike Lauzon of Sexsmith Secondary School, formerly the Assistant Principal at Peace Wapiti Academy. Students will return later that evening for A Night in Hollywood-themed grand march beginning at 7:30 p.m.
On Friday, May 15, Spirit River Regional Academy's 44 graduates will gather at 1:00 p.m. to participate in a cap and gown ceremony at the Spirit River Arena, followed by a banquet at 5:30 p.m. and grand march at 6:45 p.m.
Beaverlodge Regional High School will bid a fond farewell to 97 graduates on Friday, May 22 at the Beaverlodge Arena with a cap and gown ceremony at 10:00 a.m. and grand march at 4:30 p.m. On the same day, Sexsmith Secondary School will send off 62 graduates during a cap and gown ceremony at 10:00 a.m., and grand march event at 7:00 p.m. at the Sexsmith Arena.
Ridgevalley School will host an intimate event for 12 graduates at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 30. The event will feature a county theme, Where I Come From, with junior/senior high teacher Chrissy Armbruster as guest speaker. At 7:00 p.m. that evening, Eaglesham School will honour 10 graduates at an On the Red Carpet-themed graduation event in the school's gymnasium.
Superintendent Sheldon Rowe joins with school communities in offering best wishes and congratulations to all PWSD graduates.
"Graduation is a time to celebrate the excellence and success that you have achieved. We are all very proud of you," says Superintendent Rowe. "In looking to the future, the upcoming year will mark the first step of adulthood – making choices that will move you toward your career. The best advice I can offer is to seek a career path that you can be passionate about, but at the same time, recognize that the best careers are a result of hard work and patience. The coming years will offer numerous opportunities – choose those that offer the best long-term promise. For now, live in the moment and enjoy the celebration of your current accomplishment with your friends and family."
Peace Academy of Virtual Education (PAVE), the Division's online school, will host a ceremony for three graduates on Thursday, June 18, beginning at 11:00 a.m., followed by a barbeque lunch in Dunvegan.
Savanna School, the last of the Division's eight high schools to host a commencement event, takes a unique approach to its graduation ceremony. The school is proud of its "true" graduation tradition, and holds off on their celebration until diploma marks have been released by Alberta Education, ensuring that all students at the ceremony have actually met the requirements for graduation. The small school will say farewell to six graduates on Saturday, August 8 at the Savanna Rec Plex, starting with a dinner at 4:30 p.m., followed by a Red Carpet-themed ceremony at 6:00 p.m.
The following is a summary of the details of the 2015 PWSD graduation ceremonies:
|School||Date||Event Details||# of Graduates|
|Peace Wapiti Academy||Saturday, May 2|
Commencement Ceremony: 10:30 a.m.
Grand March: 7:30 p.m.
Theme: A Night in Hollywood
Location: Evergreen Park's ENTREC Centre, Grande Prairie
|Spirit River Regional Academy||Friday, May 15|
Cap and Gown Ceremony: 1:00 p.m.
Banquet: 5:30 p.m.
Grand March: 6:45 p.m.
Location: Spirit River Arena
|Beaverlodge Regional High School||Friday, May 22|
Cap and Gown Ceremony: 10:00 a.m.
Grand March: 4:30 p.m.
Location: Beaverlodge Arena
|Sexsmith Secondary School||Friday, May 22|
Ceremony: 10:00 a.m.
Grand March: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Sexsmith Arena
|Ridgevalley School||Saturday, May 30|
Ceremony: 3:00 p.m.
Theme: Where I Come From
Location: Ridgevalley School gymnasium
|Eaglesham School||Saturday, May 30|
Graduation ceremony: 7:00 p.m.
Theme: On the Red Carpet
Location: Eaglesham School gymnasium
|Peace Academy of Virtual Education (PAVE)||Thursday, June 18||Ceremony: 11:00 a.m., followed by a barbeque lunch|
|Savanna School||Saturday, August 8|
Dinner: 4:30 p.m.
Ceremony: 6:00 p.m.
Theme: Red Carpet
Location: Savanna Rec Plex
|Total number of graduates for 2015||||||330|
In addition to the high school graduation events, eight schools will host farewell events for junior high students:
|Elmworth School Grade 9 Graduation and Junior High Awards Night||Thursday, May 21||Dinner at 6:00 p.m. followed by Grade 9 graduation ceremony and Junior High awards at 7:30 pm. in the school gymnasium.|
|Helen E. Taylor School Awards Assembly and Grade 9 Farewell||Thursday, June 4 and Friday, June 12|
Grade 9 Farewell at 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Thursday, June 4, Wembley Recreation Centre.
Awards assembly at 1:00 p.m., Friday, June 12 in the school gymnasium.
|Rycroft School Grade 8 Farewell||Monday, June 15||6:00 p.m. at Rycroft School. |
|Clairmont Community School Grade 8 Farewell||Friday, June 19||Meal with friends and family of the Grade 8 class at 6:30 p.m., followed by a ceremony to celebrate student successes and their transition to high school, Clairmont Community School gymnasium.|
|Hythe Regional School Grade 9 Farewell and Awards Evening||Friday, June 12 and Monday, June 22|
Grand March for Grade 9 class: Friday, June 12, 7:00 p.m.
Dance for Grades 7-9: Friday, June 12, 7:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.
Awards Evening: Monday, June 22, 6:30 p.m.
All events will take place in the school gymnasium.
|Woking School Grade 8 Farewell||Wednesday, June 24||A ceremony at 10:30 a.m. in the school gymnasium.|
|Harry Balfour School Awards Night and Grade 8 Farewell||Thursday, June 25||Grades 7-8 Awards Night: 7:00 p.m. in the school gymnasium.|
Grade 8 Farewell dance immediately following the Awards Night event.
|Bonanza School Grade 8 Farewell and School Awards Ceremony||Thursday, June 25||10:00 a.m. in the school gymnasium|