For many grade 12 students it is the most exciting and most frightening moment of their lives so far and it will all take place this coming weekend as graduation ceremonies and celebrations roll out.
Friday, June 10 will see the cap and gown graduation ceremony at Brooks Secondary School and Saturday, June 11 will be the night of the Grad March and Dry Grad at Powell River Recreation Complex.
The march, which is a type of prom, will be in the theme of the musical Chicago, featuring music, decorations and costumes from the prohibition-era of jitterbugs and zoot suits. This will transition well into the theme for Dry Grad, which this year is called the Gangster Gala.
The march is organized completely by students, with teachers and administrators along to lend a hand. A committee of 15 grade 12 students has put in all the work to make the night happen. Entertainment will be provided by students who will sing, play music and perform for the crowd.
Dry Grad, which is organized by the parents, starts immediately after the march and is intended to be a safe, fun, alcohol- and drug-free event for the students to celebrate their graduation. The night runs until 6 am the following morning and features pizza, games, a mock casino, dancing and a hypnotist.
Kirsten Dobler is graduating this year and is on the committee that is organizing the grad events. She said it’s bizarre to think she won’t be coming back to school after the summer.
“Everyone gets to see you, the town comes and says...congratulations,” said Dobler. “It’s really weird. It’s weird thinking that when everybody comes back, we won’t. Cause it’s just what happens, every year you have summer and you go back to school and this summer we don’t have to.”
Dobler is leaving town in July to become a participant with Katimavik, a national youth volunteer program that will place Dobler for three months in Quebec and three months in Ontario to gain work experience.
Shannon Behan, Brooks vice principal, said a lot of work goes into this weekend but that it is all worth it to acknowledge what the students have accomplished and to show them their hard work is appreciated.
“It’s a really important time to celebrate,” said Behan. “It’s been a lot of hard work for a lot of kids to get here. In a multitude of ways, the school supported all these kids with their parents and families and struggles and all the activities. Then you have the weekend to celebrate.”
The location for grad photographs on Saturday, June 11 is still being determined as the usual spot of Willingdon Beach is not available.