Manitoba·Photos

Steinbach teachers surprise 400 graduating students at their homes

Grade 12 students from Steinbach Regional Secondary School were in for a surprise, when they saw their teachers holding congratulations signs outside their door.

With social isolation, teachers say they wanted to give the students a pick-me-up

Parker Rempel was surprised when he saw his teacher at his doorstep Wednesday morning with this sign. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

Grade 12 students from Steinbach Regional Secondary School woke up to a big surprise on Wednesday — as some of their teachers showed up with lawn signs saying "congratulations." 

The school organized the early morning surprise to celebrate the graduating class.

"I think our grads need a pick-me-up. It's been tough work for them at home, being distanced from their friends and normal routine," said Sherry Bestvater, co-principal of the school.

There were around 30 teachers delivering signs to 410 graduating seniors.

Sherry Bestvater is the co-principal of Steinbach Regional Secondary School. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

"They just need encouragement to keep going to the end of the [school] year, to let them know that we haven't forgotten about them, that they're important to us," she said.  

The teachers started decorating their cars early in the morning with yellow ribbons and balloons, and banners displaying the school's logo, the sabre, on them.

A teacher from SRSS holds up the school's logo, as they parade down Main Street. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)
RCMP escort approximately 30 teachers down Main Street as they drive to more than 400 graduate's homes. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC )

Some teachers held signs that said, "SRSS Grad 2020,"  while the parade of cars went down Main Street, honking and cheering. 

WATCH | Surprise for 400 graduating students in Steinbach:

With social isolation, teachers say they wanted to give the students a pick-me-up so the school organized the early morning surprise to celebrate the graduating class. 1:35

'Kind gesture' 

Each teacher had a list of approximately 12 houses to visit, some stretching as far as Falcon Lake.

"Just getting out and celebrating the students in any way we can... I want to see their faces smiling and probably confused," said Kyle Von Riesen, who teaches hair styling and chairs the grad committee. 

Kyle Von Riesen teaches hair styling at SRSS. He says COVID-19 posed a challenging situation for the grad students, but they're still doing well. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

His first stop was the house of twins Paxton and Tyson Koop.

"It's a super kind gesture by the school, it's awesome," said Paxton when he saw the sign. 

"It just shows... what great staff we have at our school and I'm just so proud to be a Sabre for life," said Tyson.

Paxton and Tyson Koop pose for a picture next to their new lawn sign. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

Parker Rempel was woken up by the honking outside his door. He stepped outside when he heard Von Riesen knock. 

"[I] was not expecting that. It's really nice to know that our school is doing everything they can for all the grad students," he said. 

The school's graduation activities are postponed for now, but Rempel said he's still looking forward to graduating and going to university. 

"I'll be able to have that school setting again and I'll be able to play volleyball, I'm really looking forward to that."

Parker Rempel says he wants to go to university and play volleyball in New Brunswick after graduating high school. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

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