As the year came to an end, Graduation preparations began. Luckily, even with so many things to be done, and so few people to do them, everything was accomplished right on time. The Graduation Mass was on Tuesday, June 24th at 10:00 am. After taking some pictures at school, the graduates walked over to St. Vladimir and Olga's Cathedral from the school and processioned into the cathedral. Parents and guests were all welcome to join the school and graduates on this special day. We were honoured to have Bishop David join us for our mass. All of the graduates walked down the aisle to the music of Pacabel. Liturgy went on as usual with special prayers directed towards the graduates. The Epistle was read by Ariadna Dlugosh, and the Grade 8 intention was read by Kamal Gill. Holy Communion was given, and the graduates were the first to receive. At the end of the Liturgy, a special speech was made by Mr. Picklyk, and the graduates received certificates and special medallions with their names engraved on them. Group pictures were taken inside and outside of the cathedral. Since the Awards Ceremony wasn't until 1:30 p.m., the graduates were able to go out for lunch with family and friends.
On Thursday, June 26th, the 2003 Graduation Dinner took place in the IHMS gymnasium. It started at 5:30 pm with the graduates processioning into the gym and taking their seats at the head table. Ariadna Dlugosh (our student council president) welcomed everyone and called upon His Grace Metropolitan Micheal Bzdel to say the opening prayer. Then it was time for dinner (starting with the graduates) which was prepared buffet style by Phyllis's Catering. Getting up from their tables also gave the parents time to look at the beautiful display of pictures of our years at IHMS.
After everyone was done eating, we were all seated while the C.S.C. Superintendent gave a special message to the graduates and the parents. Mrs. Korchynski, the Parent's Guild Vice-President, was called upon to give a message on behalf of the Parent's Guild. Then Ariadna Dlugosh called upon Mr. Mager who had some powerful words for the graduates and the guests. Mr. Picklyk also came to address everyone with some meaningful stories and wonderful advice. Lastly, it was the President's message from Ariadna Dlugosh, who reflected on what the students had to say to the parents, staff, and other guests.
Soon it was time to present gifts to various people in the school community. The graduates acknowledged some teachers and other staff members that had a meaningful role in their lives. Then the graduates got up to give a small token of appreciation to their parents for supporting them, and for always being there for them. After everyone made their way back to their seats, there was a surprise for both parents and graduates. Mr. Picklyk had a clip of the class when they were in Grade 1. It was humorous to see the class and all of their funny responses to the simple question of what we did over the summer! The video clip brought back some old memories and some tears were shed. The video clip ended and it was time for the closing prayer, lead by Sr. Anne. Afterwards, there was time to take pictures with friends, family, and teachers.
It took about half an hour to take all of the tables down for the dance! The dance was scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m., and the parents left their children to have a good time with their friends. We were joined by alumni students, as well as friends of the graduates who attended the dance. There were a number of teachers who gave up their time to chaperone the dance. The music and lights were great, and it was all done by Crystal Sound. Some of the music had special meaning to the graduates which made the dance all the more memorable. The last song was a slow song called "Graduation", and that's when all of the tears were shed. A number of the graduates broke into tears and there were a lot of hugs. Pictures were taken, and soon it was time to go home, only to return the next morning for the last day of school.
So Graduation 2003 has come and gone. Throughout our lives, we will always cherish the memories of IHMS. We will never forget the great friends we've made, and all of the awesome teachers we've met.
Graduates......remember......... your possibilities are as endless as your dreams, and you can do anything that you put your HEART and MIND to. Best of luck in all that you do!