Despite the blazing heat and the thick gowns, W.L. Seaton graduating students still found time for laughs and selfies during their grad photo and rehearsal at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m so stoked, you don’t even know,” said an exuberant Kaiden Ross. “It’s a big day and I’m super excited.”
Like a few Seaton grads, Ross is putting future education on hold for a while and wants to do some travelling.
Working with the carnival this summer and travelling across Canada, Ross will station the Fool The Guesser game. Contestants will try to trick him as he tries to guess their age, height and weight.
In November he plans to travel Europe for a year with his grad date.
“Italy, Spain, Morocco – I just want to backpack and experience a life that I can’t do here,” said Ross.
Looking back at his time at Seaton, Ross laughs at the times he was up for grad auctions in Grade 9 and 12.
This is also a special grad for principal Jackie Kersey. She is finishing her second year as head master, but came to Seaton as an assistant principal five years ago.
“It’s nice that I got to see this group go all the way through,” said Kersey. “They came here as shy Grade 8 kids, now look at them. They are all very confident, joking around and having a great time.”
Two of the 130 grads are Brianne Herridge and Jessica Jones. They are good friends and are both planning big trips for the summer.
The graduation was Thursday, and Herridge and her mother will barely have time to celebrate before they hop on a plane the next day for Europe.
“It’s a crazy time. I’m super excited to grad and I’m super excited to start this big trip with my mom,” said Herridge.
They are headed on a month long trip from Greece up to Scotland; hitting up every country along the way.
Jones is planning a trip to West Edmonton Mall for some watersliding and lots of shopping.
One thing Jones isn’t ready to leave behind are the relationships she has with her peers.
“I’ve known a lot of them for 13 years so it’s going to be special celebrating with all of them,” said Jones.
It wasn’t just grad rehearsal for Anthony Lewis, it was also his 19th birthday.
“It’s neat, it’s kind of like an extra celebration at the end of the school year,” said Lewis. “But, the grad will not count as my birthday party. I will have one after.”
Lewis’s favourite classes were the cooking classes.
“I love to cook spaghetti and rice meals. Basically anything Italian, I love that type of food.”
Lewis is mulling over the possibility of working as a cook and continuing the craft this summer.
Brandon de Jong plans to rock out all summer with his friends before going their separate ways.
The 17-year-old is in shock that school has come to an end.
“I still don’t believe it. It happened too fast,” said de Jong. “But I get to graduate with all my friends so it should be a fun time.”
De Jong is also a drummer for Braianiac, a small band with his buddies. He intends to jam as much as possible before next fall comes around.