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Grads celebrated
School honours its last graduating classes

Laura Busch
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sir Alexander Mackenzie School held its last graduation ceremony on June 22.

NNSL photo/graphic

Sir Alexander Mackenzie School Grade 6 students Damien Hoagak, back row, from left, Noah Vittrekwa, Underwood Day, Deena Allum, Roslyn Rogers, Cameron Jacobson, Jeanine Bonnetplume, middle row, from left, Julia Rogers, Tyra Cockney-Goose, Stanley Kasook, and Stanley Kasook in front, gather in an upstairs hall shortly before their graduation ceremony June 22. - Laura Busch/NNSL photo

The school celebrated milestones for nearly 100 students last Friday, with 46 kindergarten students honoured at a ceremony early in the afternoon and then 46 Grade 6 students marking their transition to high school during the evening.

"Boys and girls, as you move forward to high school, there will be many choices put in front of you, and choose yourself first," principal Janette Vlanich told the Grade 6 graduating class the evening of June 22.

Academically, the kindergarten class performed exceptionally well, with 80 per cent meeting or exceeding academic standards. This has a lot to do with an engaged group of parents, said Vlanich.

The purpose of celebrating these young graduates is to recognize the work they have put into their education and to encourage them to complete their schooling.

"It's really to celebrate education," Vlanich told Inuvik Drum. "It's to celebrate their first year of school, and then again as they're leaving our school."

This was an especially important Grade 6 class for Vlanich, as this group was in kindergarten during her first year of working at the elementary school.

As the new school, East Three is scheduled to open to students next fall, the SAMS classes of 2012 are the last graduates the 53-year-old elementary school will produce.

The building is scheduled for demolition as early as this summer, which made the graduations bittersweet for some.

"For me, personally, I'm sad to see the school go because it's the only school I've known here," said Vlanich. "But the new school is beautiful and I'm sure we'll grow into it."

Kindergarten and elementary school students will still be separated from junior high and high school students once they move into East Three in the fall, though they will share some spaces like the gym, library and shop facilities.

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