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92 Reasons to Celebrate

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It's time to begin, isn't it? I get a little bit bigger, but then I'll admit. I'm just the same as I was.
Now don't you understand. That I'm never changing who I am - Imagine Dragons 
Last Saturday (June 26) dawned as the start of a new journey for 92 Swan Valley Regional Secondary School graduates – most who walked across the outdoor stage on the school’s grounds the prior afternoon to receive their high school diplomas during the school’s second ever drive-in graduation.
The ceremony was a largely adapted version of what decades of graduating classes before them experienced and similar to what was done in 2020. With a fitting theme of ‘Our Journey Begins’ the class
pay tribute to both their experiences in the last 15 months as well as their years in school.
“Who would have known that getting to grad day would have been so hard?” said Valedictorian Seth Harris. “I am also sure everyone here has had the thought occur at least once of “is it really worth it” and wanted to quit, I know I have. I’m only thankful that our teachers did not quit on us.
“I had a realization that today is the first time all of us are together as seniors; it’s like poetic justice that it is also our last. It’s weird to think that only four short years ago we walked into that gym as complete strangers. Yet we all had some sort of a connection, with not knowing what class is what and which classroom to go to,” he continued.
“I hope everyone has as many pleasant thoughts and memories with the people here today. A good lesson we learnt this year is that you do not need a lot of people to have a fun time, you just need the
right ones. The bonds and memories that were made in such a short time, inside the classroom
and out, will be remembered and cherished always.” 
Harris’ valedictory address was a fitting completion to an evening that opened with a group photo, as
graduates proudly stood to the left side of their parent’s vehicles to pose for a physical distancing group photo. 
Ryan Maksymchuk was the master of ceremonies, perched in the top of the consession/announcers
booth, as well as the traffic director for the rows of cars as they progressed forward to the front to see their graduate cross the stage. 
Words of congratulations were shared by SVSD Superintendent Jon Zilkey and SVRSS Principal Jacquie Mydynski-Arp. 
Ushered to the stage on golf carts, row after row of graduates crossed the stage picking up the diploma off a pedestal before posing for socially distanced photos with SVRSS administration then heading
to a trailer to receive a bag with any awards, scholarships and bursaries they received. 
Following the ceremony, graduates continued the celebrations with a parade down Main Street, cheered on by many family, friends and community members.