Members of the Stanley Humphries Secondary School class of 2020 — taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Lee Orr

Castlegar grad takes on a new form during COVID-19 pandemic

Stanley Humphries Secondary Class of 2020 will be celebrating in a unique way this year.

The Stanley Humphries Secondary School class of 2020 has not had the school year they thought they would have and even though they won’t have the grad they thought they would have, they are striving to create something memorable and unique to replace their traditional ceremonies.

The SHSS grad and parent executive committee has been working hard to ensure grad goes ahead in spite of COVID-19.

Parent executive president Carolyn Babakaiff says “These seven grads on the committee have really risen to the challenge and they really care about their fellow grads and making it a memorable experience for everyone.”

“It’s been sad and hard for all grads and their families to let go of this picture we’d all been working toward since September. Really, since kindergarten.”

Babakaiff has been encouraging everyone to embrace the challenge instead of fighting the fact that a global pandemic has interfered with their plans and dreams.

“This graduation will be like no other. It’ll be unique and special and is quite historic,” added Babakaiff.

SHSS grad celebrations will take place June 19 and 20.

The committee is asking local residents to put a sign up in a window or out on their lawn congratulating the class of 2020.

“If you see or know a grad – reach out and tell them you are proud of them, ask them how they’re doing,” says Babkaiff. “I believe this is an opportunity for the entire community to come together in spirit to support our grads.”

Some of the innovative ways the committee has come up with for grads to celebrate include a Friday afternoon yearbook signing and cap and gown photo op (with limited numbers and staggered entry times), a formal wear event featuring photos and a march emceed by teachers (designated time slots for 26 students at a time) and a grad showcase featuring students lined up at a safe distance apart on the sidewalk so family, friends and community members can drive by to give their congratulations.

There will be several video elements as well. A convocation video will be released Friday evening. The grad march will also be videoed and uploaded for viewing and after all the events are over, Stacked Films will create a highlight video.

Then on Saturday, June 20 at 20:20 (8:20 p.m.), the community has one more opportunity to show support to the grad class of 2020. Everyone is encouraged to go outside and make some noise and grads are encouraged to join in by throwing their caps in the air in celebration.

castlegarGraduation 2020

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