On June 20, a group of Sands Secondary students crossed the field to Gray Elementary for one last walk around their old stomping grounds.
Those who had graduated from Gray returned wearing caps and robes, and were met in the halls by cheering students and faculty.
This was the first year Sands had done a Grad Walk, a beloved tradition at other Delta schools. Grade 6 and 7 teacher Steph Matheson first brought the idea forward in January 2017.
Matheson first saw the idea on YouTube, and thought it would be a good way to make graduation “that full-circle moment of coming back.”
The walk was also an opportunity “to inspire some of the elementary kids,” Sands principal Aaron Akune said.
“It was nice to set that positive picture in their minds of what they’ll be looking like when they graduate,” said Kayla Karlica, who’s graduating Sands this year.
The Grad Walk was also meant as a positive experience for the elementary staff, Akune said, “to be able to see kids that they had taught five years ago now about to cross the stage.”
For the students, it was emotional.
Imran Hayre was crying as she stood for the grads’ photo underneath the owl in the gymnasium.
“It was really emotional because we gradded Grade 7 here, and now we came back for Grade 12,” she said.
“I cried because it was just sad, because the kids are so little and they’e going to be in Grade 12 one day, and they’re going to graduate, and they’re going to do the same thing as us.”
Sands is planning to host another Grad Walk next year, possibly expanding to other elementary schools in North Delta.