With the five graduates lined up on the sidewalk with appropriate social distancing between them and family and friends scattered through the centre of the parking lot, this year’s ceremony was certainly like no other that has come before for the school. However, it was obvious the staff had gone to great lengths to ensure the occasion was meaningful and the achievements of each member of the Class of 2020 were duly noted.
With Carmen Dion as mistress of ceremonies and Principal Alain Mahé applauding the efforts of the grads and welcoming the guests to celebrate during unprecedented times, diplomas were awarded, pictures were taken, caps were thrown and the traditional commemorative class tree was planted on the school property.
St. Paul Mayor Maureen Miller was present in spirit but not in body having to offer up her congratulations via a recorded message, just one of many adaptations that were part of the afternoon’s celebration.
“You graduate in a century still in its infancy, however, at a time in history when our entire world is dealing with enormous challenges; also, at a time when the opportunities created by these challenges have never been greater.”
Miller said she looks for the silver linings in life’s challenges and amid the COVID-19 pandemic and all that has come with it, she sees a whole movement of youth exercising their resiliency and adaptability that will serve them well in the future.
“You are the ones that will bring solutions to environmental concerns, global warming, conservation of natural resources and development of alternative energy sources – the silver lining is that the whole world now has recently become awakened, too.”
The mayor urged the grads to continue to care about themselves, their families, friends and the world.
“Put your sunglasses on, your future is bright so embrace it.”