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Public schools to honour grads with virtual ceremonies

IMAGE: Supplied by the Fort McMurray Public School Division.

The Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) released its schedule of virtual high school graduation ceremonies.

Graduates will take official photos one at a time while adhering to physical distancing measures relating to COVID-19.

FMPSD Superintendent Jennifer Turner said it’s important to honour the Class of 2020 during a time of isolation and uncertainty.

“We couldn’t let this important day pass by without celebrating our incredible students. Our staff and school leaders are working hard to ensure students have a memorable graduation experience despite current circumstances.”

High schools will live-stream virtual graduation ceremonies on the following dates:


Each of the school’s principals offered their congratulations to the graduating students.

Words of encouragement

Scott Barr, who is the Principal of École McTavish, said this is the school’s first graduating class.

“Our graduates have been waiting for the opportunity to walk across the stage for many years, and we are now organizing things so they can happen safely in the COVID world. We hope our students enjoyed the social media posts celebrating them, the large parade of staff to deliver their grad cap, gown, and lawn signs, and look forward to sending home information on the next phase of celebrating their graduation.”

He said he hopes graduation will be a positive memory for all.

Principal Dan Tulk agreed to say the FMPSD and his Composite High School devised a special plan to celebrate this important milestone for the students.

“Graduation is a special event anticipated by students. This may not be the traditional graduation that everyone thought, but, it will certainly be one to remember.”

Frank Spragins Principal James Hayward added that despite the frustration of the pandemic, the FMPSD should recognize and celebrate graduation.

“I know that many of our students have endured and overcome challenges and obstacles throughout their educational journey, and their graduation is something, which should be celebrated!” 

Cynthia Shelley, Principal of Westwood Community High School, said community involvement will help make graduates and their families feel honoured.

“In addition to the virtual grad, we will be celebrating them with lawn signs, personal recognition on social media, and our grads will also have the opportunity to walk across that graduation stage in a COVID-friendly fashion. We may have needed to get creative with how to celebrate graduation this year, but we are tremendously excited to still be able to celebrate our students in the graduating class of 2020!”

Virtual graduation ceremonies include individual photos of students wearing caps and gowns as they “walk across the stage”.

Turner congratulated students and families on this important achievement thanking them for their patience and understanding.

More information on FMPSD graduation ceremonies is available on their website.