Never mind a stuffy concert hall — Seven Oaks Met School Grade 12 students still graduated in style despite the COVID-19 pandemic that left Manitoba secondary schools scrambling to find a way to send off their fresh crop, diplomas in hand.
For the 27 students graduating from the Winnipeg high school, that meant a drive-through — but no fries with that.
The students drove clad in caps and gowns to the loading bay in front of the school on Jefferson Avenue to walk a small stage and receive their diplomas, while loved ones and family members watched from across the street.
“We were determined not to let the pandemic get in the way of celebrating and honouring our grads this year,” said principal Nancy Janelle.
“We had to get really creative with how we were going to celebrate them, we had the idea of the drive-through, and then it just kind of snowballed from there and started to get more and more over-the-top every day.”
That included a small confetti cannon for each grad, balloons and blaring pop music in between each grad’s walk to “Pomp and Circumstance.”
For Teo Capitano, who created a business as part of his education at the project-based technical school, his graduation is one he won’t forget.
“It’s a very memorable experience. Probably for the rest of my life I’ll be able to look back on and remember … you know, a story you can tell in many many years and it will always be interesting — who gets to have a grad like this?” 17-year-old Capitano said.
Janelle too thinks this year will be a memorable one.
“I think it’s definitely going to be one for the history books — they are not going to forget this experience,” she said.
“They still get a lot of the traditional pieces, they’ll be crossing the stage in their cap and gown, but they get to do this in a really fantastic way.”