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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Holy Name’s grade eight students celebrate graduation

submitted to EFP

On Friday, June 19, the grade 8 students from Holy Name Catholic Elementary School celebrated their graduation.

With restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 situation, this year’s ceremony took place virtually, with a very special pre-recorded graduation video.

  Included in the video were a number of staff members, Vice Principal, and Mrs. Liles, who acted as our Master of Ceremonies. Father Dave Boutette, from Holy Name of Jesus Church, led a graduation liturgy, and in his homily, he reminded the graduates to be their true authentic selves as they move on to high school. Deacon Gary shared a Gospel reading and musicians from the Lifeteen Music Ministry added a special touch to the Liturgy. Nick Fournier, the Youth Minister from the Church, was instrumental in organizing and recording this portion of the celebration video.

  As Grade eight teachers Mrs. Harris and Mr. Gregetz announced the names of each graduate in the video, an accompanying image of each student appeared on the screen, along with their diploma. Honour roll recipients were also recognized at this time.

  Grade eight teachers, Principal, Mrs. Reynolds, and mascot, Zazzle, added an extra feature to the video. This “Top Secret Awards” segment preceded the presentation of academic, athletic, and memorial awards. Holy Name staff members spoke about each award and then revealed the winners.

  This year’s Valedictorian was Kylah Durand. In her speech she congratulated her classmates on their strong bond and said that despite the pandemic, they were still virtually together to have an unforgettable night. She compared their journey at Holy Name to a book. “Some of you may think this is the end of the story, and that the amazing book that you’ve been reading for the last 10 years is over. Well, our book is not over. Grab a few more sheets of paper and take out your pens. Begin writing the sequel. You have a brand-new story to tell.”

  In her principal’s address to the graduates. Mrs. Reynolds explained to the graduates that this year has indeed been challenging, but that with challenges comes the ability to discover great strength and determination. She asked the students to take all that they had discovered and to step into the future with confidence. She also challenged the graduates to make their parents proud with the decisions they make in high school.

  The grade seven students at the school, under the direction of Mr. Lamoureux, shared their well wishes in a choreographed video. These inspirational messages reminded our graduates how much they mean to our school.

A few special guests appeared in the video to provide words of congratulations to the graduates. These included Mr. Richard Meloche, Deputy Mayor of Essex; Hilda Ware, on behalf of the Optimist Club; and Mrs. Meloche, a former staff member of Holy Name. 

  Staff and parents enjoyed seeing how much each graduate has grown in a segment of the video that featured their baby picture side-by-side with their graduation photo. Their favourite grade eight memories were then shared.

  The final portion of the video was a presentation of images taken throughout the students’ time spent at Holy Name.

  This project was made possible by the generosity and involvement of many. The Holy Name School Parent Advisory Council covered the cost of the awards that were presented to the graduates, as well as the graduation lawn signs that were made for each student. The Catholic Women’s League, from Holy Name of Jesus Church, made a monetary contribution. Several local businesses helped produce special keepsakes for the graduates and Lucas Gregetz produced and edited the special graduation video.

  Congratulations Holy Name Catholic Elementary School Class of 2020! All the best to you as you embark on the next journey in your life.


Valedictorian says Hawks

will never forget their time at Holy Name

by Sylene Argent

photo submitted

When grade eight student Kylah Durand learned she was going to be the valedictorian for Holy Name Catholic Elementary School, she was elated.

  Durand likes to write, so when she heard the grade eight students had been challenged to create a speech for a chance to earn the valedictorian role, she spent days on her project as she thought it would be fun.

  “I wrote my speech to let the kids know they are not going to leave and forget about the time they spent at Holy Name. We will enjoy our years in high school, but we will always remember Holy Names,” Durand said. She added she also spoke about how it might be tough to make that transition into high school, but she and her peers will get through it and will adjust to high school life.

  “I was very surprised when I learned I was going to be valedictorian. There were some very smart kids going into [the competition for the role]. I knew I had to make my speech really good,” she said.

  Duran pre-recorded her speech, which was spliced into a special graduation video she and her peers were able to enjoy with their families last Friday evening.

  “I loved the video. The teachers put it together really nicely,” she said.

  Some of Durand’s favourite elementary school memories were from being involved on sports teams. She enjoyed spending time with friends on those teams, and she said she learned a lot from the coaches, who taught the students lessons for on the field or court and for life in general.

  In class, some of Durand’s favourite memories included being involved with the OPP’s Values, Influences, and Peers program (VIP) in grade six, and being selected to go to Cop Camp that summer.  In addition, she said her favourite subject was math. “I like that there’s always a challenge and always something to learn,” she said of the school subject.  

  In moving onto Essex District High School next year, Durand said she will definitely miss all of her friends and being on many sports teams for Holy name. She does plan to try out for a few sports teams while in high school.

  “I am very excited for high school. I’m looking forward to a little more freedom,” she said.  


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