Grade 9 graduates of Bluffton School who will be moving on to attend high school in Rimbey in the fall were recognized for the accomplishments in a farewell ceremony on June 29.
The best part, however, was that the 2020 graduating class who missed their farewell last year due to COVID-19, were also able to walk the stage. The 2020 class went first and then the class of 2021, in two separate, brief, 30-minutes ceremonies.
“We were unable to celebrate our class of last year so it was a great feeling when we were finally able to give them a proper send off,” said Sally Tennant, educational assistant at the school.
“It has been a long year of coping, surviving and supporting each other through the pandemic. All of these students deserved a proper send off and even though it was late, we were so excited that the class from 2020 were happy and able to come back to where it all started, after a year of high school, to commemorate their time as students at Bluffton,” she said.
“It was a really good day for us at Bluffton School … All the families, staff and students were extremely happy to be able to enjoy the afternoon to recognize our students.”
The farewell ceremonies were held in the school’s gymnasium.
Students walked the stage, received their Grade 9 diplomas. Each student said a few words on their time and their memories at Bluffton.
The guest speaker was Lisa Shukin, who taught both classes before retiring at the end of last year.
Shukin was a “beloved teacher” who taught literary and science at Bluffton School for five years, as well as coaching volleyball, badminton and track and field.
There was no valedictorian this year because of the quick planning involved due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Awards were presented for 2020 for highest academics, Tia Paris; leadership/positive attitude, Adam McLauchlin; CTS award, Ryan Dreichel and the Shelby Entz Memorial Award for Citizenship, Ben Boyce.
Awards presented to the 2021 class were highest academics, Alyssa Bundt; sportsmanship, Shayza Burt; CTS award, Liam Tennant and the Shelby Entz Memorial Award for Citizenship, Collin Hagen.
The ceremonies ended with a ‘grand march’ where the graduates were escorted out by their parents.
“We are so proud of all of these students for accomplishing so much while they were at Bluffton School but also during these unprecedented times,” said Tennant.