Chateauguay Valley Regional High School (CVR) held its graduation ceremony for the class of 2021 on Saturday, June 26. For the second year in a row, the school had to organize a socially distanced graduation ceremony; however, the ambience was nothing short of festive.
The event was initially supposed to be held outside, but a forecast of rain forced staff to reorganize at the last minute and set up inside.
Students were greeted by the sight of their graduation photos lining the school driveway. The class of 100 students was divided into small groups, each of which had a scheduled time to attend the festivities.
The first stop of the afternoon was for a group photo-op with a professional photographer, where students had pictures taken with each other and family in front of the CVR crest. Also set up were various school jerseys and sports award trophies, with which students could pose for one last picture celebrating their athletic accomplishments.
Next, the groups headed to the cafeteria where music was playing, a collection of students’ artworks were proudly displayed, and the class mural was set up to be signed by members of the class of 2021. Painted by grade 10 students Mya Stroud and Kiara Roberts-Corbin, the mural will be permanently installed on a school wall.
Before heading off to receive their diplomas in the auditorium, students stopped to watch valedictorian Caitlin Frost’s address, which had been pre-recorded and was playing on a television in the hall.
An accomplished academic and athlete, Frost was recruited last year to join the women’s basketball team at Champlain College in St-Lambert. She attributes her success to the dedication of CVR’s staff, saying, “I believe that our environment impacts who we become. I am thankful to the class of 2021 and my friends for their ongoing support. Big shoutout to the amazing staff at CVR who always go the extra mile.”
Finally, students entered the auditorium to receive their diplomas. The stage was decorated with the usual platform, fence, and plants. Students each got a chance to go up on stage and receive their diploma from CVR principal, Brigitte Barrette, and Phyllis Wood, CVR Educational Foundation representative.
Although some awards and prizes were given out on the day, the winners of the CVR Educational Foundation prizes will only be chosen once final grades are in at the end of the month. The foundation plans on giving out $83,000 in prizes, awards, and bursaries to support the post-secondary education of these graduates.
After each student was presented with their diploma, they received a “swag bag” and were then escorted outside, where they could continue to take pictures with their fellow graduates.
Although unorthodox for the second year in a row, the graduation event was a great success. The ambience was light and joyful, and everyone in attendance happily celebrated the accomplishments of CVR’s class of 2021.