It’s an annual tradition that continues to grow.
Grad Walks have been taking place all over the Langley School District this past week.
The first-ever grad walk started at Langley Secondary School in 2016 and now nearly all high schools in the District take part.
If you’re lucky to have seen one of them, you would’ve watched Grade 12 students in cap and gown unloading off a bus at their elementary and middle school. They walk the halls, exchange high-fives, and sometimes the younger students hold up signs of encouragement or hand out roses.
It’s a chance for grads to visit their alma maters, see their former teachers, and reminisce about the past.
Principal of H.D. Stafford Middle School Shawn Davids says it’s one of the best days of the year. He was around when these LSS grads were students at his school.
“We don’t always get to see the outcome of the work that we do when kids are younger,” he said. “but we know that it is a team effort. It requires everybody to help these kids be successful. So, to have the opportunity to see them hit that huge pinnacle in their education and be a part of that celebration is so great for our staff and great for our kids to see.
“We want our kids to know that that’s what’s on their horizon and be excited about that coming up.”
Uplands Elementary Kindergarten teacher Shauna Aranas taught some of the Langley Secondary School grads 13 years ago.
“I’m always very proud of the fact that they have persevered and finished their school career,” Aranas said. “I get emotional and I do get teary when I see them. It’s wonderful to have them come back and be able to see how much they’ve changed.”
Noel Booth Elementary Principal James Ribeyre welcomed the Brookswood Secondary School grads. He says it helps build community.
“It’s really a celebration of these kids’ learning and it really helps connect the elementary school to the high school. It also connects the learning for our kids that are in elementary school. They’re going to be able to see, that this is where this all goes and it creates engagement and excitement and it really celebrates success.”
Leanne Stewart, parent of a Brookswood Secondary School grad, watched her daughter walk the halls at Alice Brown Elementary.
“It’s very emotional,” she said. “It seemed like it was so long ago, but yet it was not that long ago at all. A super cute moment was when we found Sasha’s class act award on the wall.”
Allison Toth, parent of an Aldergrove Community Secondary School grad, was at Shortreed Community School to watch her son visit as she says his former “home.”
“I am on the verge of tears,” Toth admitted. “I’m pretty proud of that kid. It’s pretty exciting. You know, it’s definitely going to change things around the house. I’m excited to see what he does next.
“Seeing him develop into a grown man has been really fantastic. And just really amazing to see how he has changed and how his dreams have changed over the years.”
Aldergrove Community Secondary School Principal Jeremy Lyndon says it benefits both the grads and the little ones.
“It’s about inspiring the future generations of Totems that are coming up and for our kids, its about legacy and leaving something behind as we bid them one final farewell as they move onto the rest of their lives.”
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