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Two of the 2013 graduates deep in thought during the Graduation Dinner


Graduation is the last and most important event for any student leaving IHMS at the end of grade 8. It???s always a bittersweet affair, and the grads usually have mixed feelings about leaving ??? most have been together for years and a few have been together since kindergarten (super-niners). When classes resume in September, the grads will all be enrolled in a new school.


The Graduation was organized by Ms. DePiero, the grade 8 teacher


To celebrate this important milestone, the grade 8 teacher, Ms. Depiero (photo above) spent a lot of time preparing the graduates for their big day. She organized two important events for the graduating grade 8 class:


1. The Graduation Divine Liturgy

2. The Graduation Dinner and Dance




svandoc8 This year, the Graduation Divine Liturgy took place on Monday, June 24th at Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral. In order to give the graduates time to pose for photographs and to attend to any last minute preparations, the Divine Liturgy was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. rather than the usual 9:00 a.m. Most graduates found this extra 30 minutes to be extremely helpful because they all posed for a photo before leaving the school.





Grade 8 girls posing before the Liturgy (larger format)


Grade 8 boys posing before the Liturgy (larger format)



Click here to view photos of each of the graduates



Since Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral is only a 5 minute walk from the school, everyone left for the cathedral around 9:15 a.m. The Graduation Divine Liturgy is by far the most attended and most important of the school???s monthly Liturgies. There were a lot of proud parents, grandparents, and other invited guests in attendance, along with a lot of nervous and excited graduates.


Grads in their pews after receiving instructions from Mrs. DePiero


Most of the parents and grandparents were also planning to attend the school???s Awards Day program at 1:30 p.m. that afternoon.


Despite the excitement of the Liturgy, the graduates knew exactly what to do because Ms. DePiero had prepared them well with numerous rehearsals. Everyone looked great ??? the girls styled their hair and wore fashionable dresses while all the boys dressed up a suit and tie.






The ceremony began at 9:30 a.m. with each graduate carrying a long-stemmed rose down the center aisle up to the front of the cathedral. They left their rose in a vase on the altar and then proceeded to their pews at the front of the church.


 Grade 8 grads placing a long stemmed rose in a vase on the altar 


During the Liturgy, Bhavana G. read the Epistle while Darian P. and Alexis S. both read the grade 8 intention. Michael K. read a prayer before Communion.


 Bhavana G. and Michael K. reading their Biblical passages


After the Liturgy, each graduate was called up one at a time to receive a certificate and an IHMS medallion. They then lined up in front of the altar for a series of group and individual photographs.


 Graduates receiving their certificate and IHMS medallion


After posing for photos, the graduates were free to go out for lunch with family and friends. The only stipulation was that they return to IHMS by 1:30 p.m. for the school???s annual Awards Day program.


Graduates posing for a group shot in the Cathedral (larger format)


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Mrs. Depiero doing a final check before the Grad Dinner and Dance 


orestballoonV5 The Graduation Dinner and Dance was held on Wednesday, June 26th in the school gym. Mrs. DePiero and her grade 8 class spent a lot of time making everything look perfect for the big event. graceballoon5


Proud parents taking photos of the graduates before the Dinner


The lettering on the gym wall for the grade 8 graduation


The grads posing for photos before the Dinner


capbhavana5 The Dinner began at 5:30 p.m., while the Dance was scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. This was also a formal affair, and the graduates dressed accordingly. capjeanny5


 The graduates dressed formally for the occasion


A head table was set up along the back wall for the graduates, and a nearby table was reserved for IHMS staff. All the remaining tables were designated for guests ??? mainly parents, but also some grandparents and siblings.


 A view of some of the tables set up in the gym for the Grad Dinner


The Dinner started out with Mr. Picklyk asking everyone in attendance to welcome the IHMS graduates of  2013. As parents and teachers applauded, the students began their procession from the front landing of the school into the gym and to their reserved seats at the head table.


Mr. Picklyk announced the 2013 IHMS graduates as they enter the gym and make their way to their predetermined positions at the head table


The Master of Ceremonies for the Dinner was Michael K., the student council president. To get things started, he called upon Monsignor Michael Buyachok to say the opening prayer and bless the food.


The Master of Ceremonies for the Grad Dinner was student council president Michael K. (top photo); Monsignor Michael Buyachok said the opening prayer (bottom photo)


After the opening prayer, the graduates started the line to the self serve buffet. The rest of the guests followed after the number to their table was randomly selected by Ms. Depiero. The food included fried chicken, meatballs, perogies, cabbage rolls, corn, coleslaw, and fresh buns. There was also iced tea and coffee to drink, and cheesecake for dessert.


The graduates getting their food from the self-serve buffet


This has been the same menu for the past few years, and for good reason. For the past few years, the exact same meal has been ordered from the same catering company ??? Phyllis??? Catering.


 Everyone seemed to enjoy the catered food


After everyone finished eating, the speeches began. Dr. Mark Karpa, chairperson of the IHMS Board of Trustees was first up with his greetings to the grads. He was followed by an emotional Mrs. Barb Pichlyk, president of the IHMS Parent???s Guild.


Dr. Mark Karpa, chairperson of the IHMS Board of Trustees (top photo); Mrs. Barb Pichlyk, president of the IHMS Parent???s Guild (bottom photo)


framedpic5 Next, Michael announced that each graduate would be giving their parents a small gift as a token of appreciation for their support and unconditional love over the years. The gift was a framed grad picture of themselves in their grad hoodies (an example is shown in the photo to the left).


Each of the graduates got up from their table to present the gift to their parents.


 Graduates presenting a gift to their parents


At this point, Mr. Picklyk announced that one of the graduates, Illeana F., had missed Monday???s Awards Day ceremony because she was away attending her brother???s graduation. This was the perfect opportunity for Sr. Anne to present Illeana with her unclaimed awards!


 Illeana accepting her awards from Sr. Anne and posing with Father Isadore


Next, Mr. Picklyk gave a short speech followed by a video he had prepared. The video was projected onto the gym wall and documented some of the events of the past 9 years, from kindergarten to the present.


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The video has become a yearly tradition at the graduation dinner, and guests always look forward to it. It???s funny and cute watching the graduates back when they were in kindergarten and grade 1. The graduates came to the bittersweet realization of how much they???ve changed over the years. They were also starting to realize that their time at IHMS was quickly coming to an end.


 Some of the images from the past 9 years projected onto the gym wall


Finally, Michael gave a short but very emotional  farewell speech on behalf of his classmates. He was followed by Father  Isadore Dziadyk, OSBM, who said the closing prayer.


After Michael’s farewell speech, Father Isadore said the closing prayer


By now, it was around 8:00 p.m., and before everyone left, Mr. Picklyk asked everyone to remain behind for a few minutes to help clean up, to put the tables back into storage, and to make room on the gym floor for the Graduation Dance. Music, as in past years, was provided by Crystal Sound.


Music for the dance was provided by Crystal Sound


Everyone, including parents, grads, and teachers pitched in to clean up in preparation for the dance. In addition to the graduates, the grade 7???s and alumni from previous years were also invited to the dance. Parents and guests left with the intention of returning at the end of the the evening (11:00 p.m.) to provide rides home. Everything worked as planned, and the graduates enjoyed a beautiful evening with memories that should last a lifetime.




pointinghand1 Click here to view additional Grad Dinner and Dance photos


Dancing to the beat of The Village People’s “YMCA”



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