GUYSBOROUGH – Few would have guessed last year that the graduating Class of 2021 would so closely resemble the Class of 2020, in respect to festivities and celebrations marking this milestone. This year, like last, will see graduation celebrations calibrated to adhere to COVID-19 public health restrictions. Prom has been pared down to socially-distanced parades and the handing out of diplomas will take place in front of a small audience of family members.
School-based graduation activities
Guysborough Academy Principal Barbara Avery told The Journal via email, “Our graduation recognition event will be much like the approach used last June following current public health restrictions and guidance. And like last year, proms and graduation dances will not be organized by schools. Students and their support group will have an ability to book an appointment. We will limit the number of supporters attending with the graduate based on current public health gathering limits at the time of the event.”
Graduation at Guysborough Academy will take place on Wednesday (June 23). Students will receive their diplomas at a time scheduled by appointment and a photographer will be on hand to take pictures of the students and guests. Graduates will be given a graduation package from the school.
Avery wrote, “Graduating from high school is a significant milestone for our students, their families and supporters, as well as our staff. We want to provide a memorable and safe event that recognizes our graduates’ hard work and many achievements which has led to their high school graduation ... Our priority is making sure that the recognition event takes place in a manner that respects student and family health and safety by following appropriate COVID-19 public health [guidelines].”
Canso Academy held a graduation recognition event on June 21, following the same protocol as Guysborough Academy.
The Strait Area Education Recreation Centre (SAERC) in Port Hawkesbury will hold their graduation recognition ceremonies on June 23 and 24, by appointment, following COVID-19 public health guidelines.
Community-based graduation activities
The Town of Mulgrave celebrated 11 graduates from SAERC on June 22. Community members paraded in their vehicles, led by Mulgrave Volunteer Fire Department vehicles, to salute graduates assembled on the lawn of the former Mulgrave Memorial Education Centre.
Mulgrave Mayor Ron Chisholm gave each graduate a token of congratulations at the event which was livestreamed on the Mulgrave recreation Facebook page.
Canso Academy graduates paraded through Canso along the regatta parade route on June 19. Dressed in prom attire, the grads waved at the many community members that came out to congratulate them on this occasion.
If public health restrictions allow, Canso Academy’s prom will be held in July.
The streets of Guysborough were filled with graduates from Guysborough Academy on June 21. A parade of vehicles carrying graduates and their families toured the community on the Come Home Week parade route – from the Royal Canadian Legion to Guysborough Academy.
Following the parade, graduates and families gathered on the field at the Chedabucto Lifestyle Complex to hold a ceremony, where each graduate was recognized for their achievement.
Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal