Vernon Secondary School grads Mark Francis (left)

Vernon Secondary School grads Mark Francis (left)

Mixed emotions for Vernon Secondary School graduates

Members of the Vernon Secondary School Class of 2012 celebrated their special day.

From the kids in the hall in jeans and hoodies to young women and men in glamorous gowns and tuxes, members of the Vernon Secondary School Class of 2012 celebrated their special day.

The last class to graduate before the new school opens later this year, they gathered with family and friends in Polson Park Friday for pictures in the afternoon before their grad ceremony, dinner and celebration.

“I’m a little nervous,” said Bronte Sawada.

“The whole five years of school have been great. I’ve made a lot of friends and I’ll keep in touch with them and make new friends. I’m not sure what I want to do yet so I plan on traveling for awhile.”

Brett Frankland agreed that friends are one of the best parts of school.

“I’m stoked for this day and I guess I’m awed at how long it has taken to get here. My friends are definitely my favourite thing about school,” said Frankland, who has already started his electrical apprenticeship.

He and his date, Lindsay Wendland, who is graduating from Kal Secondary School this year, got to go to two graduations.

“I’m excited to be done school,” said Wendland, who is planning to be a dental hygienist.

Noah Morrison, who was in the High Performance Program so he could participate in competitive skiing on the National Freestyle Ski Team, said, “I wasn’t at school much so I’m happy to see all my friends and classmates here in one spot, maybe for the last time. I guess I’ll be travelling with skiing for the next few years,” he said.

There were hugs, smiles and a few tears and lots of laughter as people called out: ‘You’re gorgeous. I can’t believe this. This is awesome. You look so good.”

Some of the graduates took part in the drive-by before stopping for photos. They arrived waving from convertibles, in a stretch limo, in classic and vintage cars, a big, mud-covered truck, and by motorcycle — the guy with the motorcycle with a sidecar had two girls with him.

The guy on a skateboard might have been a grad or just caught up in the drive-by.

It brought back memories for parents and grandparents.

Blair Montguire was there to see his son, Jordan, graduate. “We’re here and he’s late. It’s been quite the process getting ready. I don’t remember anything like this when I graduated. It’s a really nice set up here.”

Grandfather Bob Montguire, who had attended his own graduation with his wife, Katie, joked, “We had to tie up the horses at my graduation.

“We had everything, the ceremony and the dance at the school gym. Then we had parties, which were probably illegal. This is very good.”

With memories recalled, memories recorded, and memories still to be made, the crowd scattered with the afternoon rain showers.