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Final photo a milestone for Kalamalka Secondary grads

Kalamalka Secondary School grads Shayla Lemond (from left) Sam Bienias, Megan Squair and Jenny Wambold crack under the pressure as they pose for their graduation class photo at the lookout Thursday afternoon.  - Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star
Kalamalka Secondary School grads Shayla Lemond (from left) Sam Bienias, Megan Squair and Jenny Wambold crack under the pressure as they pose for their graduation class photo at the lookout Thursday afternoon.
— image credit: Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star

It was one of principal Don Balcombe’s last chances to shout – in a nice way – at Kalamalka Secondary School’s Class of 2014.

There was Balcombe, in long sleeve green dress shirt and sunglasses, standing atop a school district truck beside the official photographer, giving instructions through a megaphone to the 106 graduates as the official graduating photo was conducted Thursday in the mid-day sun and wind at the Kalamalka Lake Lookout.

“Smile, smile, smile,” instructed Balcombe. “OK, here we go, photo in three, two, one.”

When it came time for the grads to remove their caps and toss them into the air for that always popular photo, Balcombe was again directing, er, grad traffic.

“The wind is blowing so we don’t want to throw the hats up into the air and have them blow over the embankment,” said Balcombe. “You’re going to take the hats and toss them forward.”

Asked what is easier, graduating or listening to Mr. Balcombe’s directions, Jenny Wambold – who was, literally, front and centre in the front row for the grad picture – laughed heartily.

“Graduating,” smiled Wambold, whose five-year run at Kal came to an end with graduation. She is moving on to Okanagan College in Kelowna with plans to become a therapist assistant, and to work in a hospital.

Thursday’s photo was bittersweet for Wambold.

“It’s a really special day as I finally get to graduate and move on in life,” she said. “At the same time, I’m going to miss all of my friends but I know I’ll make new friends as well.”

A handful of parents and grandparents were at the lookout to snap their own photos.

Tracy Elliott, joined by her mom, Elsie Stockley from Edmonton, was there to watch her son, Taylor, the first of her two kids to graduate.

“It’s been a nice day so far, coming here and seeing their pictures,” said Elliott. “We’re just getting started.”

Like for most parents, graduation is a happy and sad time. Taylor is leaving the Elliott home to study computer science in the fall at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.

“This day came quick,” said Tracy. “He’s really been looking forward to it.”

 

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