On May 31, Vista Virtual School (VVS)’s 2018-19 graduating class moved their tassels from right-to-left and received their graduation certificates.
It was time for students to cross the stage and attend their grad ceremony, a crowning achievement of hard work in obtaining their Alberta high school diploma.
As referenced in Principal Mike Loitz’s graduation speech, this day “is the best day of the year for everyone,” as teachers and staff get to see the success of their students, and to celebrate graduation as proud and excited individuals who are invested in student success—usually teaching a graduate in multiple courses, over multiple years; and the excitement of seeing them succeed today.
“Grad is not only our students’ reward for their hard work, but also our reward for seeing them succeed,” said high school teacher and grad organizer Aletta Seward. “The smiles on their faces are priceless!”
Valedictorian, Caleb M., also spoke about The Little Engine That Could—taking the time to acknowledge graduates that may have felt the strain of working hard, lacking the confidence to succeed, and the many reasons students have taken “the Vista Virtual Express.” But through their learning and experiences, they now have unique memories that strengthen their character and resiliency for the future.
With each team member (parents, friends, family, teachers, etc.) playing roles supporting their success, he acknowledged that even though the journey may have just begun, each graduate now has the skills to know they can achieve—moving from “I think I can, I think I can…to I know I can, I know I can.”
The 19 graduates attending the ceremony this year all come from different backgrounds and have had distinct experiences, but everyone was able to celebrate achieving the requirements for an Alberta High School diploma.
“I thought the ceremony was great—and there was good food. It was nice to see everyone come together, it was really nice to see,” said Trevor G. “I plan to continue my education in the future and graduate from college. I was really nervous to come here, but I was glad I did.”
One of the memories to take away from the ceremony was the graduation gift—a copy of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss—signed with personal notes from Vista Virtual School teachers and staff!
“Grad is always a magical time,” said Seward. “It is often the case that we have never met many of the graduates before, so it was truly lovely to finally meet them and their families in person this year.”
Even though they may not have met face-to-face, they have been in constant contact through the year (and years) while the graduate attended our school, and the notes written in each book are based on individual staff interaction and advice for each graduate.
It is an exciting time for students too.
“I am pretty excited. I have been with the school for a couple of years. It was nice to meet all my classmates—I knew some of the teachers—but it was nice to put the faces to the names,” said Jocelynn H. “I am moving for school and am excited to start that, to travel and be done high school.”
Our Pembina Hills Public Schools’ trustee, Kerry McElroy, offered his congratulations and praise that we have the best online school in the province as part of the Division—that all the students here are amazing and supported in their successful graduation.
These successes have created thoughts around what grads are looking to do in the future.
“It feels really good now that I am finally here,” said Jelo S. “I am looking forward to attending SAIT after I graduate.”
Everyone has achieved this milestone and now can work towards the next step in life.
“Graduation is different for everyone, and VVS is designed really well,” said Noah P. “I am looking forward to working in mechanics, agriculture, or history depending on my interests. It was a good grad!”
And the grads are now applying their skills to succeed.
“I am excited about graduating today,” said Samia S. “In the future I want to have my own business, but before that, I am headed to post-secondary. The three years of hard work in high school, it was a tough time, and I was struggling with balancing my extracurriculars and schoolwork; thankfully after I joined VVS I was better able to manage my extra-curricular and my schoolwork at the same time.”
Seward also wanted to “thank all the staff at Vista Virtual School for their help organizing graduation, but more importantly for their hard work year-after-year supporting our students,” she said. “Thank you, too, to all our graduates’ families and friends for supporting them in their journey, and for joining us for this special occasion.”
High school graduation is an amazing achievement and it takes a lot of hard work from everyone to stay on the path and commit to success.
But of course, if you’re graduating, make sure to check that you have submitted your lessons and assignments, as one student can attest…as she completed her last quiz in the hotel, at the last minute, on a borrowed laptop, just before the ceremony started—giving true meaning to Vista Virtual School being accessible anytime, anyplace!
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
See more photos and video from the graduation ceremony.