Ecole H.J. Cody High School has decorated its windows facing Centennial Street to celebrate the Class of 2020. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Small celebrations planned for Sylvan Lake grads during pandemic

The high school and local businesses have small events planned to honour the Class of 2020

The current pandemic has postponed the milestone event of high school graduation for Grade 12 students at H.J. Cody, but staff are working to mark the occasion during a unique time.

Mike Garrow, principal at H.J. Cody, says it is an important occasion, one that the students have worked hard for over the last 12 years.

Which is why the staff are working on ways to mark the milestone and celebrate with students, in a safe way which follows Alberta Health guidelines.

“We have a few things planned to celebrate our grads now and throughout June,” Garrow said.

The staff at the high school began the celebration by painting the windows of the school facing Centennial Street.

“Congrats Grad 2020” is the eye-catching display painted on the windows.

Staff are also planning a surprise for the morning of May 30, the day the grad ceremony was planned for.

“I don’t want to give anything away, but we have asked the parents to make sure our grads are home Saturday morning,” Garrow said of the surprise.

Garrow says the grads will continue to be honoured throughout June on social media. In particular taped speeches will be posted on various social media sites over the month of June to honour the graduates.

“This is an unusual time, the grads are of course disappointed, and so are we,” Garrow said, speaking of how the staff look forward to celebrating with their students.

Small celebrations through the school are not the only way the high school graduates will have to mark the occasion.

Local businesses are teaming together to give the grads a night to wear their fancy dresses and suits.

Bukz, Bukwildz, X-Calibur and Deb MacNeil Photography are teaming together to give grads a night to remember.

Bukwildz and X-Calibur are donating $3,000 each for grads to have a night out with their family in honour of the graduation.

“We at Bukz and Bukwildz feel for the grads of 2020 from our community! With being able to be back open at 50 percent occupancy we would like give back to the grad class of 2020,” the Facebook announcement from Bukwildz said.

Each table, with a maximum of six people to a table, will receive a $50 tab for food and drink.

Photographer Deb MacNeil will be providing mini photo sessions as well.

Grads can make a reservation for June 4 or 5 between the hours of 5-9 p.m. by calling 587-877-9453.

Garrow said the grads, and all students, have worked incredibly hard during the pandemic and at-home learning.

He called the students “incredibly resilient.”

“I am so proud of all they have accomplished and the work they have put in over the past 12 years, not just the last two months,” he said.

The hope is to have the graduation ceremony in the fall, but Garrow says it all depends on what restrictions are in place by Alberta Health and Alberta Education.

“We are looking forward to celebrating with a ceremony soon, but this is what we can do for now.”

CoronavirusGraduation 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

Alberta Health Services' central zone jumped from 162 active COVID-19 cases to 178 on Friday. Five additional deaths were reported provincewide, bringing the toll to 323. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
622 new COVID-19 cases set another daily high Friday

Province confirmed 622 additional cases Friday

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council approves second attempt for downtown cannabis retail shop

Firestone Cannabis submitted a new application after their first was denied in August

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

Three young Sylvan Lake residents are asking for lights to be added to the walking trail system to make them safer and less scary at night. Photo by @workinonmyfitness72
Young Sylvan Lake residents ask for lights to be added to walking trails

Three young Sylvan Lake residents appeared before Council recently to present their ask

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

A man runs across the Carcross Dunes in Carcross, Yukon, on July 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘No manual or checklist:’ Yukon ditching fall time change this year

The territory decided to adopt year-round daylight time in March

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains makes an announcement regarding vaccine procurement, in Toronto, on Wednesday, Aug., 5, 2020. Despite its status as an artificial intelligence hub, Canada has yet to develop a regulatory regime to deal with issues of privacy, discrimination and accountability to which AI systems are prone, prompting calls for regulation from businesses and experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Canada crawling toward AI regulatory regime, but experts say reform is urgent

5 million images of shoppers collected without consent at Canadian malls

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie "The Name of the Rose" at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

He died peacefully in his sleep overnight in the Bahamas

(Photo submitted)
Rimbey resident avid author despite Parkinson’s

Wins more accolades for her writing

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

City of Wetaskiwin Mayor presenting the AUMA Above & Beyond Award to John Maude and Susan Quinn. Ren Goode/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin County residents win the AUMA Above & Beyond Award

John Maude and Susan Quinn are being recognized for their role in Wetaskiwin’s sustainability.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

(Pixabay photo)
Spoooky, scaaaary: The ultimate Halloween-in-quarantine playlist

All the costumes, trick-or-treating and spooky-season fun is essentialy off the table due to COVID-19

Most Read