Graduation is the last and most important event for any student leaving IHMS at the end of grade 8. Itâ??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.
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. This was the first time that Mrs. Depiero organized the grade 8 graduation ceremonies, and she did an absolutely fantastic job! She organized two important events for the graduating grade 8 class:
1. The Graduation Divine Liturgy
2. The Graduation Dinner and Dance
This year, the Graduation Divine Liturgy took place on Monday, June 25th 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.
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 schoolâ??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.
Most of the parents and grandparents were also planning to attend the schoolâ??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.
During the Liturgy, Adrianna K. read the Epistle while Lukas S. read the grade 8 intention.
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.
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 schoolâ??s annual Awards Day program.
|The tables set up in the gym a few hours prior to the Graduation Dinner and Dance|
The Graduation Dinner and Dance was held on Wednesday, June 27th in the school gym.
The lettering on the gym wall for the grade 8 graduation
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.
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.
The Dinner started out with Mr. Picklyk asking everyone in attendance to welcome the IHMS graduates ofÂ 2012. 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.
The Master of Ceremonies for the Dinner was Adrianna K., the student council president. To get things started, she called upon Most Reverend Lawrence Huculak, OBSM to say the opening prayer and bless the food.
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.
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 – Phyllisâ?? Catering.
After everyone finished eating, the speeches began. Mr. Randy Skromeda, vice-chairperson of the IHMS Board of Trustees was first up with his greetings to the grads. He was followed by Mrs. Barb Pichlyk, chairperson of the IHMS Parentâ??s Guild.
Next, Adrianna 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 below).
Each of the graduates got up from their table to present the gift to their parents.
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.
The video has become a yearly tradition at the graduation dinner, and guests always look forward to it. Itâ??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.
Finally, Adrianna gave a short but very emotional Â farewell speech on behalf of his classmates. She was followed by FatherÂ Â Isadore Dziadyk, OSBM, who 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.
Everyone, including parents, grads, and teachers pitched in to clean up in preparation for the dance. In addition to the graduates, the grade 7â??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.