Hundreds of Nanaimo students receive diplomas

NANAIMO – More than 900 secondary students will dress up in cap and gown and receive their diplomas this week.

More than 900 of Nanaimo school district’s secondary students will dress up in cap and gown and receive their diplomas in the Harbour City this week.

Donna Reimer, school district spokeswoman, said 918 students from Cedar, Dover Bay, John Barsby, Nanaimo District, Wellington and Woodlands secondary schools will walk across the stage, a number similar to last year but expected to drop next year.

“Within the next two years, there will be fewer students in Grade 12 and so we would expect the number of graduates to go down,” she said.

There are more students receiving diplomas through the district’s learning alternatives programs, but numbers had not been finalized, Reimer added.

Graduation ceremonies for the district’s six Nanaimo secondary schools will take place in school gymnasiums and at the Port Theatre on Thursday and Friday.

“It really is an uplifting kind of day,” said Reimer. “You see the students, but also the families and how proud they are.”

Then on Friday evening, secondary students from across the district, including private schools, will head to Beban Park for A Night to Remember 2013, the city’s annual all-night dry grad celebration, which features numerous fun activities such as swimming, skating, karaoke, scuba diving and kayak races, as well as music, movies, prizes and tons of food.

Reimer said many graduating students have been with the district for the entire 13 years of their public education and it is important for people in the system to remember the role they played in getting students to this point.

“It’s a real school, family, community event because everyone’s shared in supporting these students to be successful,” she said. “It’s just such a major turning point for those young people.

“It’s a foundation for their future careers. As a community, we need to celebrate that.”

Students finished the year either yesterday or today (June 27), depending on the school, but staff don’t finish until tomorrow (June 28).