This weekend the L.V. Rogers Class of 2013 will cap off their high school careers in typical grand fashion.
The high school year-end tradition gets underway Friday night at the Nelson and District Community Complex with the cap and gown ceremony. On Saturday, the blue mortarboards will give way to prom dresses and tuxedos for the grand march, downtown cavalcade and evening prom.
“It’s getting exciting now that it’s so close,” said LVR grad committee member Carley Bennett. “It was a little stressful for most of the year with all the organizing, but now it’s time to have fun.”
This year’s nine-person grad executive spent many months fundraising and putting in place all the special events on tap this weekend. It’s a huge undertaking for a monumental step in young lives.
“I joined the executive mainly because I was forced to by my dad,” laughed committee member Jordan Mulvihill. “But now that I am actually on the grad executive, I appreciate what we are doing and it has been a really good experience.”
“You really get an understanding of what it means to be a leader,” added committee member Sydney Zondervan.
Life in a small community high school mirrors life in a small town. There’s a different spirit of camaraderie that exists at the Fairview school that students are proud to be part of.
“We have a really good group of kids and we are really close,” said Zondervan. “There’s not just cliques and certain groups. That’s pretty impressive when you consider there are more than 200 kids in the grad class.”
As is the case with all of life’s significant milestones, the LVR Class of 2013 is heading into the weekend with a reflective tone.
“I will be thinking about all the kids I have become friends with over the last two years, it’s a pretty diverse group,” said Mulvihill on his days in public school. “In three weeks we will be out of high school, then summer is going to go by in two months… then ‘bam’ you are in university. I’m moving across the country and won’t see any of these people for a year… so it’s kind of sad realizing how fast it’s gone by.”
All committee members agree that the local education system has provided them with a solid foundation for moving on.
“We’ve done this for 13 years,” said Bennett. “Every fall you go back to school and see the same friends and it’s not too much of a change. Come fall, that all changes.
“I’m ready to move onto the next thing. School has prepared us fairly well for the next step… it’s exciting to move on.”
Mulvihill and Zondervan have been classmates since Kindergarten at Gordon Sargent. It’s a bond that many of the kids taking the walk across the stage at the NDCC on Friday share and one that will be on their minds.
“There will be tears,” said Zondervan. “At the ceremony when we all hear the speeches and realize it’s over, there will be tears.”
All three of the grad committee members have different plans for the coming year. Mulvihill is off to Carleton University in Ottawa to take the five-year aerospace engineering program. Bennett is heading to Austrailia for a year of travel before coming back to Canada to attend university in what she hopes will be a path towards law. Zondervan will also be taking a break and heading to Holland for a few months before coming back to Selkirk and then on to the University of Victoria where law is also one of her considerations.
Chasing dreams has only really just begun for the Class of 2013. The committee members charged with putting on this weekend’s party feel Nelson has prepared them well for whatever pursuits they choose.
“The community has been really supportive of all our fundraising activities this past year and everything we have done over the years,” said Zondervan. “Nelson has really been there for us, it’s pretty special to be part of such a great community.”
The doors open at the NDCC for the cap and gown at 5:30 p.m. with first come/first choose seating. The ceremony actually gets underway at 6:45 p.m. On Saturday at 1:30 p.m. the grand march ceremony will take place at the NDCC and the cavalcade through the downtown will begin at 4 p.m. The Saturday night prom at the Prestige Lakeside Resort takes place from 7:30 p.m. to midnight.