July 23rd, 2024

Chinook High School grad gala inclusive for all students


By Nicholas Allen - for the Lethbridge Herald on June 3, 2022.

Chinook High School will be hosting a ‘Grad Gala’ in advance of the convocation ceremony for graduating students on June 11.
Chinook Grad Committee Chair Chantel Tillsley said they do the ceremony differently from other schools with the Grad Gala being held separately to make sure it is inclusive to everybody.
“Even if they’re not graduating or have enough credits, they can attend the grad gala,” said Tillsley.
She said in the past they have hosted a sit-down meal of 1,300 people with their families who choose to come but they took the meal out of the event this year.
“We’ll just have appetizers during the dance…. But no, other than that it’ll be relatively the same to previous years when we were allowed to host a gala,” said Tillsley
She said that typically the students dress up in gowns or suits for the event.
“There’ll be a little bit of a mix and mingle at the beginning where they can have a lot of photo opportunities and the guests will take their seats,” said Tillsley.
She explained how the grads will then line up alphabetically and walk across the stage with a large lit-up 2022 behind them. Tillsley said the grads will get their picture taken and then once the whole grad class is announced, they all take their seats.
“There’s some toasts and introductions, speeches, a grad video, live band performance…
and then a dance to end it all off,” said Tillsley.
Previously, the Grad Gala was held at the University of Lethbridge. According to Tillsley, the reason they didn’t go to the U of L again was because of the COVID restrictions in place when they booked the facility.
“The U of L was using REP (Restrictions Exemption Program) and Enmax wasn’t. We just had a little bit more leeway to ensure that whether our students are vaccinated or not, that they could attend with the PCR test,” said Tillsley.
Tillsley said the Grad Gala will likely go back to being at the U of L in the future. She said the gala is an important opportunity for students to celebrate their years of school with family and friends.
“They are very much looking forward to this… just a memory of a good night celebrating with their classmates,” said Tillsley.
The Grad Gala takes place on June 11 at the Enmax Centre, with the convocation ceremony being held at Chinook High School on June 28.

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