September 30th, 2020

Hat High grads cap off odd year with caps on

By MO CRANKER on June 27, 2020.

Orin May gets his photo taken Wednesday by a family member while wearing a custom Medicine Hat High School face mask.--NEWS PHOTO MO CRANKER

Students from Medicine Hat High School were finally able to put on a cap and gown to celebrate their graduation.

Over the span of three days this past week, Grade 12 students and their loved ones arrived at Hat High for individual graduation ceremonies.

“This was a lot different than any of us expected,” said graduate Judah Giesbrecht. “This graduation ceremony was really chill and quick. We walked around, took some pictures and that was it.

“I really enjoyed this and I’m happy we got the chance to graduate like this. I think it’s the best that could have been done under these circumstances.”

Giesbrecht says his plans are to attend bible college in 2021.

Grads entered the school through the front of the building and grabbed their cap, gown, diploma and hat. They were able to go to a small stage area for photos with their family, and were encouraged by principal Boris Grisonich to toss their cap in the air. The school has a number of other areas for students and their loved ones.

Chloe Lund was at the school Wednesday for the ceremony and said it was an interesting way to cap off an odd school year.

“I think a lot of students are upset we can’t get the full graduation, but we’re able to get something and that’s what’s important,” she said. “It may not be the usual celebration, but we’re still able to get a really special moment that we get now to be with our families.

“This year our families are giving us our diplomas instead of our teachers – that’s something we’ll remember for a long time.”

Lund says she will be moving to Lethbridge in the fall for her first year at University of Lethbridge.

Social studies teacher and grad adviser Sheldon Regier says the ceremony came together fairly quickly after the normal graduation was cancelled.

“It’s so important to celebrate our Grade 12 students and recognize their accomplishments,” he said. “Ideas for our grad came from all over the place and we really pieced it together over time.

“Overall, this is a great group of kids and they’ve really had to adapt and deal with all of the changes that have been going on this year.”

Regier says it was important to keep the tradition of a formal graduation alive.

“Dressing up, getting those keepsakes – it’s a really big moment,” he said. “We wanted to students to have these memories and pictures forever.”

Sophia Stacey is one of the 325 students graduating from MHHS and says she is thankful for the ceremony and parade.

“Under these circumstances, I think we’re all just happy we have something,” she said. “I brought my family with me to celebrate and it’s nice to see everyone else getting the chance to celebrate, too.”

Stacey added that she plans to move to Montreal for the 2021 school year to attend McGill University.

The 2020 class will have a chance to celebrate as a group Saturday at Kin Coulee during a parade that is running from 3-6 p.m.

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