Highland Secondary had been ready to move its graduation ceremony indoors, if needed.
Instead, the weather in the skies over Comox co-operated, and the Grade 12 students were able to gather at beautiful Filberg Park for their commencement.
The graduation marked a bit of a return to normal after grads the last two years have had to come up with alternatives like drive-by ceremonies because of COVID-19 restrictions.
The May 28 event for Highland started with the students’ entrance and a traditional welcome from Donna Mitchell and Richard Hardy of K’ómoks First Nation, who shared the stage with Indigenous students.
“Our students come to this place from a variety of different paths,” principal Dean Patterson said. “Remember, the journey does not end here.”
For the Osler Shield this year, two students’ names were added, Eli Blasco and Emma Warren, while Warren also served as co-valedictorian with Will Hatch. The pair provided insights both poignant and humorous before they and their classmates received their diplomas, with teachers providing personalized remarks about each student.
After the formal ceremony, the Highland grads stepped out on the grass by the sea to dance the minuet, a tradition going back decades at the school.
The Highland grad was the first event to kick off commencement season. At the latest school board meeting, assistant superintendent Geoff Manning mentioned other upcoming ceremonies around the district and the fact that almost all the schools have plans to hold events in the fresh air, along with alternate plans depending on the weather.
“Everyone’s hoping to be outside, but the way this spring has gone — who knows? — there could be lots of inside activities,” he said.
NIDES Navigate is slated to hold an indoor/outdoor event on June 3 at 1 p.m. at Crown Isle.
Nala’atsi Alternate School is holding an indoor ceremony at the KFN band hall on June 16 at 7 p.m.
Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School Ecole Secondaire has their event on June 18 at 1 p.m. at the field between the school and nearby Valley View Elementary or in the Isfeld gym in the event of inclement weather.
Glacier View is scheduled to hold an afternoon grad at 1 p.m. on June 23. The ceremony happens at Simms Millennium Park. They will quarter off the gazebo so it can be used if weather conditions require it.
Georges P. Vanier’s event is scheduled for June 25 in the afternoon at either the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds or, if it is raining, at Rink 1 inside the Sports Centre.