Houston Secondary grad ceremonies set for June 17

Grad class numbers 29 this year

Scenes like this one from 2020 will be taking place as the 2022 Houston Secondary School grad class attends ceremonies June 17. (File photo)

Planning is well underway for a Houston Secondary School graduation ceremony that’ll be as close as possible to those held prior prior to the COVID-19 pandemic being declared in 2020.

Twenty-nine graduates are expected this year with ceremonies taking place Friday, June 17 in the school gym.

“The gym doors will open at 12:30 p.m. Friends and family are welcome of the grads. There is no reserved seating except for speakers and the candlelight ceremony families,” explained school employee Ruby Kenzle who is drawing on her years of organization grad ceremony experience.

“The ceremony will be close to what we would have planned pre-covid with the graduates sitting on stage. Awards and award winners will be acknowledged, there will guest speakers and a lovely candlelight ceremony will happen at the end of the ceremony,” she said.

“For me personally, planning a graduation ceremony under the uncertain rules of Covid was much more challenging,” Kenzle added.

That ceremony marks a return to a tradition developed from 1994 onward when Mike Monkman, then the vice principal, introduced a new element.

“He established the tradition of Grade 12 students, as representatives of the grad class, handing a candle to Kindergarten students from each of our feeder elementary schools,” said Kenzle.

“With the reconfiguration of the three schools, this year we will begin a new tradition – a tradition that shows the progression of the students through all three schools, recognizing that both Silverthorne and Twain Sullivan are important steps in getting the students to where they are today.”

“The candle is a powerful cultural symbol representing the light of knowledge or the illumination that knowledge can bring,” Kenzle affirmed.

This year grad Landen Proctor will pass the light to Ellie King from Silverthorne Elementary and grad Dawson Slaney will pass the light to Mya Stapleton from Twain Sullivan Elementary.

The safe grad theme this year is “Under the Stars” and a parents’ committee has been busy planning events incorporating that theme.