Some P.E.I. students get special surprise in lieu of graduation ceremony
'It’s a different way to end the year'
With Island graduation ceremonies on hold across P.E.I. some school staff members decided to surprise their students with another way to celebrate the end of the school year.
When schools closed in March due to COVID-19, staff at Kensington Intermediate High School felt the need to do something special for their students. The province announced public safety measures and cancelled mass gatherings, including graduation ceremonies.
So teachers and school staff drove to the homes of each graduating student Friday morning to place personalized graduation signs on their lawns.
They visited all 37 of this year's graduating students, banging pots and pans and cheering them on from their front yards.
Kelly Gallant was one of those teachers. She said she wanted to make sure that despite not having a traditional ceremony all of the students were recognized for the hard work they put in throughout the year.
"We really wanted to show them that we still care, that we're thinking about them, that we want to acknowledge that this is a milestone for them and celebrate what they were able to accomplish," said Gallant.
Gallant said she came up with the idea after she saw videos of educators hosting similar events circulating on social media. She said the event was kept secret from students with the hope that they would keep the graduation parade a surprise.
"We didn't even tell staff until yesterday," she said.
"The nice thing about our staff is they're always, they're always up for doing things. They're very supportive and very enthusiastic so even with the limited information we gave them they were all in for our day," Gallant said.
'Its a memory that's gonna last'
Chloe Green a senior at Kensington Intermediate said she was "surprised" to see staff members placing a sign on her lawn.
She and her friend, Hannah Paynter, another graduating student, were on their way to get ice cream when they saw their teachers through the window.
"Because we are such a small grad class I didn't think this would happen," Green said.
"It really made our day," she said.
Paynter said seeing her teachers again after so long was a nice surprise and one she and her friend won't forget.
For Green, it was a nice way to mark the end of the end of their high school years.
"It's kind of scary to know that we spent 12 some years doing this and this is how we end it but I think it's a memory that's going to last."
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With files by Travis Kingdon