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Isn’t It Nice To Be Social?

By Andy Hall

This must be the comment of the night on Saturday 23rd October as WillowWood finally got the chance to show off its achievements once again. Virtual this and virtual that have become the unfortunate ‘norm,’ but here was our chance to ditch the sweatpants, faded T-shirts, and ball caps and to dig out suits, ties, dresses, hairbrushes and gather once more to celebrate the graduating class of 2021.

The 2021 graduates have seen the final two years of High School and first year of postsecondary education disrupted beyond what we thought would be the case back in March 2020. Two Formals, a chance to shine at Holiday Happening, bringing home a banner from a sporting tournament, trips to exotic places, intense Table Tennis battles at lunchtime have all been lost. Experiences that cannot be replicated online. The decision to host the graduation ceremony was touch and go for a while, but as daily COVID cases and 7 – day averages in Ontario have trended downwards, it made the final choice easy. These students deserve their moment in the spotlight and for the parents, guardians, and siblings that joined us, and extended family members who participated via Zoom, it was a great way to celebrate all the efforts that the awarding of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma demands.

Across the school, there is a real sense that we can move forward with more in-person events. Holiday Happening is too soon, the large-scale musical production in May too big at present, but February’s Parent – Teacher interviews, April’s 30 hour Famine, May’s High School Formal and SpringFest, a resumption of some sports, and Grade 6 and 8 graduation ceremonies in June look promising. As we celebrate more milestone moments in our students’ lives, let us all cross our fingers for better times ahead. We are social beings; it really is nice to be social once again.


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