Keremeos Grad Walk takes trip down memory lane

The graduating class of Similkameen Elementary Secondary School visits to the Ntamtqen snma?maya?tn School and Cawston Primary School ahead of their graduation ceremony. (Contributed)The graduating class of Similkameen Elementary Secondary School visits to the Ntamtqen snma?maya?tn School and Cawston Primary School ahead of their graduation ceremony. (Contributed)
The class also made stop at the Cawston Primary School to meet with the younger students there. (Submitted)The class also made stop at the Cawston Primary School to meet with the younger students there. (Submitted)

The graduating class of Similkameen Elementary Secondary School took walks down memory lane with visits to their old schools.

The students made visits to the Ntamtqen snma?maya?tn School and the Cawston Primary School ahead of their graduation ceremony.

Bedecked in their graduation regalia and caps, students hopped on the bus to head over to the schools where they spent time visiting their old classrooms, teachers, and the new students that fill the halls.

“It nice to see the younger kids, good to show them where they can be in the future,” said Declan Vanderlinde, who’s graduating this year.

“The idea is that they’re revisiting where they started their education,” said SESS principal Naryn Searcy. “It’s just a nice way to wrap up the graduates’ experiences after 13 years in the education system, it’s a chance to go back and celebrate and a reminder that it’s not just a high school experience for graduation. It’s 13 years of everyone working together.”

This was the third year that the Grad Walk has been held, and the first that also added a visit to the Ntamtqen snma?maya?tn School.

For valedictorian Jayden Tallio, it was a nostalgic visit to his own primary school, and a chance to be a role model for the current set of students going through.

“It felt pretty rewarding because all the kids they’re all super happy to be with the people they buddied with and they were already wanting to come back with us,” said Tallio. “I felt happy, just, who knew I could make these kids so happy just by being there.”

Being able to interact with the younger kids, to inspire them and be inspired in return, was a key highlight for a number of the graduates who joined the Grad Walk.

“I was hanging around with the girls, and just talking to them about what they wanted to do when they’re older,” said valedictorian Elizabeth Omojuwa. “I think one wanted to be a pilot, and another wanted to be a doctor like I want to be, so it was great to know that they have that passion and I just hope they still keep it going when they’re older.”

For SESS, the school has organized the walk with the two primary schools that feed into it, a benefit of having a smaller and more tightly knit community.

This was the third year of the walk, and it’s planned to keep going in future years with both of the local schools.

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Graduation 2022