Springbank Community High School’s graduating class is gearing up for a busy week full of emotions and memories as they enter “Grad Week” on May 29.
Springbank Community High teacher and grad coordinator Tara Ong-Padilla said students are looking forward to a jam-packed week of grad-related activities leading up to their convocation ceremony on Saturday, June 3.
It has been a lot of work to get to this point, confirmed Ong-Padilla, with a committee of 10 graduating students coordinating with their classmates, parents and teachers to provide a memorable and uplifting experience for the 167 Grade 12s who will walk across the stage ona Saturday.
“They (students) are pretty excited,” said Ong-Padilla. “We are pretty lucky here, having a grad class of 167 students – we are really able to personalize the day … The buzz is happening. They can’t believe it’s only two weeks away.”
But before they get to cross the stage and receive their diploma, Ong-Padilla said Springbank Community High School will provide a whole series of opportunities to relish the experience through the school’s usual “Grad Week” activities. As part of the yearly tradition, students will have something to do each school day to celebrate.
Two undoubted highlights for graduating students, according to Ong-Padilla, are the High Flyer Awards, which half-jokingly imagine possible futures for each of the grads, and the TNT (Until Next Time) ceremony, where this year’s grads pass a figurative torch to the Grade 11 students, who will take over as seniors next year.
Grad Week will also celebrate the 2023 grading classes’ legacy projects. Students collected bottles over the past semester to raise between $1,000 and $1,500 to provide a $300 donation to the schools’ art classes for the Portraits of Ukraine project, and over $1,000 for new science equipment for the high school’s science department, which will benefit future students.
Ong-Padilla said the annual legacy project is chosen by the grads to give back to the school in gratitude for their years on campus, and to set a good example for the new generation of students coming up.
“I think it is important for students in the lower levels to think about how they can pay it forward,” she said. “I feel this is a way to give back, and it is important they all come together as a team.”
As for the June 3 grad ceremony itself, there are over 1,000 community members and relatives of the grads expected to attend the afternoon ceremony and probably 800 expected at the evening ceremony, both of which will be held at WinSport Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Ong-Padilla confirmed.
“It’s a phenomenal day, and the kids are very deserving of this celebration,” she said. “It is an exciting time for students to celebrate their accomplishments.”