Everyone has his or her own unique educational journey.
That uniqueness was celebrated today (June 12) at the Centre for Learning Alternatives (CLA) Graduation ceremony in the John McInnis Centre.
CLA is an alternative school where students who are unable to find success in a mainstream school come in order to achieve academic goals.
It’s also a place where adult learners can continue their educational journey.
“There’s no cookie cutter approach at this school. Every student here has their own story and every journey is uniquely their own,” CLA teacher and M.C. Sue MacDonald at the start of the ceremony. “We love working here so much because we get to be a part of that unique story and get these grads to this point.”
The ceremony included a traditional grad honour song performed by Kyle Sa and a traditional welcome given by CLA teacher Moira Treha.
“Graduates, as you look back your journey to this very, very special day, as has been said today, is your unique story,” said Board of Education trustee Sharel Warrington. “You have overcome so many challenges and made some very important choices. The fact that you are here today before us speaks volumes about your resilience and your commitment to achieving your goals.”
CLA Principal Curtis MacDonald also commented on the graduates' success.
“Challenges, roadblocks, overcoming adversity, and developing grit along the way. You made it and today; you are surrounded by family, friends, your teachers, our staff and the people who love and care about you,” he said. “To the graduates, please remember this day and wherever you find yourself in life reflect on the positive experiences that brought you here.”
Three graduates from varying CLA programs gave valedictory addresses.
Alternative Community Program students Makenzie Foster and Amy Short-Garber, as well as continuing education student Mary McIntee spoke about their time at CLA.
“I never thought I’d be standing up here talking to everyone. I’ve come a really long way from when I started,” said Foster. “This school and the people here have shown me how to be the best person I can be and motivated me to get where I am today.”
The graduating class of 2019 then proudly walked across the stage to accept their diplomas, certificates, and awards.