Edmonton·Video

Redwater grads settle for front-door celebrations after COVID-19 quashes ceremony, banquet

When health restrictions forced graduating high school students in Redwater, Alta., to cancel their grad, their teachers found another way to honour them.

'It was really heartbreaking almost, because I want to hug them and stuff'

The Redwater Class of 2020

2 years ago
Duration 2:17
Plans for Redwater School's graduation ceremony were cancelled due to COVID-19, so teachers delivered grad packages to the homes of about 30 students.

When health restrictions forced graduating high school students in Redwater, Alta., to cancel their grad, their teachers found another way to honour them.

Teachers at Redwater School drove to the homes of the almost 30 graduates last Friday bringing along a graduation cap, diploma, a mug and a few letters for each.

Each of the students came to the door in a suit or prom dress.

Tori Michaluk, 18, wearing a pink dress with matching Crocs, became emotional as she put on her cap and thanked the three teachers who delivered it.

"It was really heartbreaking almost because I want to hug them and stuff," Michaluk said. "But it's really nice that they did that because a lot of schools didn't even get anything,"

Tori Michaluk, a graduating Grade 12 student, poses with teachers from Redwater School when they delivered her graduation cap and diploma. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

Many of the grads have attended the Grade 5 through 12 school for eight years.

When the pandemic scotched plans for a ceremony and banquet, the school's grad adviser Terra Beth Dowhaluk looked for a way to safely honour the students.

"I've been teaching some of them for eight years so to get to at least do something and say congratulations and let them know we're thinking about them has been absolutely amazing," she said. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Travis McEwan

Video journalist

Travis McEwan is a video journalist who covers stories ranging from human interest and sports to municipal and provincial issues. Originally from Churchill, Man., Travis has spent the last decade working at CBC Edmonton reporting for web, radio and television. Email story ideas to travis.mcewan@cbc.ca.

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