On Saturday, June 15, a close group of Ucluelet Secondary School Grade 12 students will walk across the graduation stage, taking their first steps into adulthood.
While some high school graduates don’t even get to know half their grad class, Ucluelet Secondary is a community, says the Class of 2019.
“Everybody knows each other. We all watched each other grow up,” chime the students, adding that a few of them have even been together since kindergarten.
Getting their ‘N’ licences and driving to school, raising a massive amount of money for the year-end grad trip, and starting an Ultimate Frisbee team were noted as some of the highlights of 2019.
They all said they would “miss Ms. Thompson,” their Grade 12 teacher.
“She’s our shepherd and we’re all the sheep,” said Dempsey Appenheimer, who’s taking a year off to travel before tucking into Environmental Studies at the University of British Columbia.
“I’m gonna miss a lot of things. I’m going to miss hanging out with a lot of friends that I don’t get to hang out with,” said Beau Pitre, who plans to spend the next year commercial fishing.
Many of the graduates will leave the West Coast in pursuit of higher education.
In August, Cassy Ryles has an audition in Vancouver for a School of Fine Arts.
Pierce Washburn is heading to Camosun College in the fall to study Social Work and Psychology.
Ottis Crabbe will be studying Culinary Arts at Vancouver Island University.
Ainsley Drake is hoping to attend Thompson Rivers University for the Veterinarian Technician program, and then she would like to return to Ucluelet to open a vet clinic.
Sarah Robinson said she’s off to Victoria to study Linguistics at UVic.
For Raven Greig, it’ll be either Trent, Cornell, or McGill to study Sustainable Agriculture. Allora Hickey, the designer of this year’s grad sweater, said she’s taking a trip to Abashiri, Japan, before diving into a comic and graphic novel design program at Camosun College.
Ucluelet has been great, they all say, but they all can’t wait to see other places.
“We’re looking forward to living our new lives and re-visiting Ucluelet in the future,” said Diego Corlazzoli, who will be heading to Victoria to study physical education.
The Class of 2019 raised close to $6,000 for their year-end grad trip to WildPlay Elements Park in Nanaimo.
“Thanks for the support from the community. Big shout out to all the people that donated to our grad silent auction. That was a big help, 100 per cent,” Cassy Ryles.
Everyone is invited to attend the convocation on Saturday, June 15 at 2 p.m. in the USS gymnasium.