By LAUREN THOMSON Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on June 12, 2021.
Medicine Hat and area high schools have announced plans for graduating classes of 2021, a complicated process amid quickly changing regulations.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s been pretty stressful,” said Shonna Barth, vice principal of Crescent Heights High School. “We’ve been trying to follow the rules but give the kids the best that we could. I’m glad it worked out the way it did.
“With the support of MHPSD 76 we are going to be holding the grad 2021 cap and gown ceremony at Co-op Place on Friday, June 18 at 4 p.m. Each grad will be able to bring up to four guests … On June 23, students are invited to attend school at 2 p.m. in their formal wear, coveralls or regular clothes. Grads will gather in the cafeteria to present fun awards and watch the grad baby morphing video.”
Eagle Butte High School will host a formal day for Grade 12 students on June 23.
“Should they choose to attend this event, they are invited to wear their grad attire to school for pictures, Grad Fun Awards, and a couple of other surprises,” said Angela Baron, communications co-ordinator for Prairie Rose School Division. “The activities will be outside (weather permitting) going from 11:45-2:15 p.m. … including a parking lot ‘food event’ for our grads to enjoy.”
No spectators will be allowed to attend this event.
Eagle Butte will host its cap and gown ceremony at the Cypress Centre on June 25, with up to three guests allowed per graduate. The event will be streamed online, as well as recorded for later viewing.
Boris Grisonich, principal at Medicine Hat High School, addressed the challenges of having the largest graduating class and having to follow COVID regulations. He indicated that, like CHHS, Hat High will be hosting a ceremony at Co-op Place on June 29, with students sitting distanced on the ground level and families of graduates in the stands. MHHS will also be hosting an alternate cap and gown ceremony in the school on June 28.
“For the (June 26) grad banquet we were originally planning on doing it in classrooms with cohorts but then they opened that up … so we’re able to hold it in the high school cafeteria,” said Grisonich, adding the banquet will be for graduates only. “The meal will be prepared and served by our culinary arts chef and likely with the help of some of her students … and we’ll have some fun awards and short speeches.”
Graduates of Monsignor McCoy High School will have the chance to take grad photos at the school in front of a number of different backgrounds on June 19. Students are encouraged book a time for their photos before June 15.
On June 24, “all graduating students are required to attend the grad rehearsal at Holy Family church,” Paul Bauche, principal of McCoy, said. “COVID-19 protocols for masking and distancing are in effect for this event.”
Grad mass and cap and gown ceremony will take place at Holy Family beginning at 3:30 p.m. on June 25, with two guests allowed per graduate.
“The event will be able to be viewed online, and recorded so that it is available for future viewing,” said Bauche.
After an entire school year under the cloud of a pandemic, Grisonich says the city’s graduates have earned the chance to celebrate.
“They deserve a fun time,” said Grisonich. “So hopefully it’ll run smoothly and safely.”