By Sue Tiffin
I’m proud of this little newspaper, and the people who do good things that make for the stories that fill it. This week is no exception.
What is exceptional this week, is that the second part of our rather epic graduation section is being published. Last week, we commemorated the students graduating from Archie Stouffer Elementary School, and this week we feature the students graduating from Haliburton Highlands Secondary School and the Haliburton Adult and Alternate Education Centre.
In 2020, with the world still recovering from the initial shock of a global pandemic, our editorial team realized leading up to the end of the school year that for the first time that any of us could remember, there would be no in-person graduation ceremonies to cover. To ensure we celebrated those graduates – whose school life was suddenly and unexpectedly halted as provincial health guidelines closed schools and public gatherings – we partnered with our local schools to share the graduation photo of each student within the pages of our papers. This meant for a colossal effort from our entire newspaper staff and school teams – at the already-busy end of their school year – to organize the materials (thank you!) but it is worth it – our students are worth it. And so, though the world gradually began opening up again, and graduation ceremonies happened in-person this year, we’ve continued the section since then.
It means that every graduating student – not just the academically-inclined, not just the star athlete – gets recognized in the pages of their community newspaper. The word ‘sonder,’ means the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own, and each of these students has contributed in some way, many ways, to this community with the support of their teachers, parents, friends and neighbours. Some you might know through their families, or remember as a child, some you might have been helped by at their part-time job or passed on the street. Some will move on, taking what they’ve experienced with them, and others will continue the lives they’ve built here.
We hope you take a moment to reflect on the photo or name of each graduate listed in these pages. As we noted in 2020, please celebrate how each of these individuals have grown in this community, some from before their pre-school days until this momentous milestone. Imagine what triumphs and trials and tribulations these students might have faced in their years of study, and offer them applause and a wish for a hopeful future.
We are so proud of these students as they fill our pages with their accomplishment.
Congratulations Class of 2022. Do good things and celebrate that you already have. You did it.