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Sexsmith Secondary grads hit the road for graduation parade

The 73 graduates of Sexsmith Secondary School celebrated the end of their high school era in a way they’ll likely never forget. Residents filled the streets Friday night cheering on the class of 2021 as it paraded through the town.

The graduating students walked along main street first and then got into their vehicles and drove around the town to celebrate their accomplishments with the community.

The organizer of the event and mother of a graduate Kimberly Janzen says the turnout for the event was remarkable. She notes that it was heartwarming for the graduates to have some normalcy in the world they are living in.

“I thought there would be just parents and close friends of the grads but I think there were a lot of people from the community,” she adds. “I think it was really good to put the spotlight on them and let them enjoy their time.”

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Kimberly’s daughter and graduate Odessa Janzen mentions that the Sexsmith Secondary grad class of 2020 held a similar event for their graduation as well. She adds that this year they decided to go past the local retirement home to show off their suits and dresses.

“Last year they did this too because of COVID and one of the senior’s homes was sad they missed out, so we are going to drive past them today so they can all see, so that’s exciting.”

Faced with a second school year affected by COVID-19, Odessa notes that it was difficult to keep switching from online to in-person classes. She says the grand march was a nice way to celebrate their graduation in a unique way that recognizes the hard work they have put in.

“I’m excited to be graduated, but scared to be an adult,” she laughs. “I’m very happy with how it turned out.”

Sexsmith kicked off grad season this year for the Peace Wapiti Public School Division. Ridgevalley School will be hosting a drive-in cap and gown ceremony on Saturday, Spirit River Regional Academy is booking appointments for grads to receive their diplomas on June 4th, Peace Wapiti Academy is hosting an event at the Grande Sunset Theatre at Evergreen Park on June 12th, Alternative Education will be booking appointments for grads to schedule appointments to receive their diplomas from June 21-24, and Savanna School will host an invite-only event for 10 graduates on July 3. Beaverlodge Regional High School and Eaglesham School will be announcing their celebrations next week.

Sexsmith graduation ceremony/grand march on May 28th, 2021 (Abby Zieverink, staff)

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