I recently attended my high school reunion – 34 years since the Class of 1977 last partied together.
I’m not sure how many REC grads there were that year – but well over 100. At the reunion, our 50+ year old eyes strained to read name tags, looking for the Class of ’77 (it was a fifty year reunion), and hope for some vague memory to appear about the name above the year. Of course, we all had a great time, and often pretended to be a little closer back in high school than maybe we really were.
Not a week later, here I am in the gymnasium of the Pinawa Secondary School, emotionally watching 18 young people graduate from a very different kind of school. I wonder if they know how good they’ve had it?
A Grade 1 teacher sitting beside me commented that this particular class had “changed a lot” since Grade 1. I thought ”don’t they all?” What she meant, of course, was that they weren’t all the same kids. Usually they almost all are. Imagine going to school for 13 years with the same kids. I guarantee there will be no straining to remember the other 16 kids in your class 34 years later.
The memories and the bonding that takes place in small town schools is heart warming. That bond extends to the teachers, who, at Grad, are able to say something personal and meaningful about each and every Grad. You can’t say that in a Class of 300!
Pinawa itself has a pretty unique school system, in that we are K to 12 in our own little isolated School District – and actually pretty snobby about it (in a good way, I think). There’s a lot of pride in the school that boasts no locks on their lockers.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate this years Graduates. You have worked hard (or hard enough) and have achieved something that will serve you more well in more ways than you can imagine in your future. You have started on a road of adventure! Good luck in your future.