The annual spring rite of passage — graduation — is a time to celebrate, for both students and their families.
It is also a time to dress up, step out and to look ahead.
The high schools of Central Alberta — including Hunting Hills, Lindsay Thurber, River Glen and Notre Dame — will send almost 1,150 Grade 12 students out into the world this month. After, that is, all the exams and final projects have been completed and marked.
Of the Red Deer high schools, only Notre Dame has yet to have its graduating ceremonies. The 420-strong Grade 12 class from the Red Deer Regional Catholic School Division institution will celebrate on June 29, after all the scholastic obligations are fulfilled.
For the remainder of the high school graduating classes, June is a month to buckle down to make certain that what they have already celebrated — heading to post-secondary school or the work world — will actually come true.
At Red Deer College, the spring convocation ceremonies that honoured 420 students are also the final stage for some before entering the work world. And for others, it is a stepping stone to yet more education, at a university or technical school elsewhere.
But in every case, as the students of Central Alberta throw their hats skyward with relief and satisfaction, it is enough to say: Congratulations, grads.