Rossland Seven Summits for Learning students were swaying hundreds of feet up on the Red Mountain chairlift to start their graduation ceremony on June 18.
The students were on a quest to make it to the summit of Red Mountain and take memorable grad photos for families and friends.
Stephan D’Appolonia, one of the graduates, said it was a bit surreal taking the chairlift late in the spring.
“This is definitely a privilege for us to be able to do this. I’m a little nervous to ride it,” D’Appolonia said. “I’ve never gone on the gondola in the summertime before. It’ll definitely be different compared to when I normally take it in the winter.”
Graduate Jasmine Drolet said she was grateful to have a ceremony as she hopped on the chairlift.
“I feel really lucky that the staff worked so hard for us to have a great graduation,” said Drolet. “I think that it’s amazing for us to be able to have this opportunity, even though COVID-19 is happening right now.”
As each graduate got off the chairlift later in the evening, six of their family members greeted them at the Red deck to have dinner.
Stacked Films videographer Uriel Milligan helped to record the graduates’ reunion with their family members and the rest of the evening festivities.
During a livestreamed portion of the dinner, dignitaries and school staff spoke about the students’ plans after graduation and helped to give out $8,615 in scholarships and awards.
One of the award recipients was Sylvie Bedard, who won the City of Rossland and District/Authority scholarships.
“Sylvie is a star who has shine brightly in all of her five years of high school at the centre,” said Mayor Kathy Moore in a statement.
D’Appolonia was also given awards from Ferraro Foods, Louis Mcbride Design and Construction and Revolution Cycles for his aspirations to become a certified auto body mechanic.
“The world of repair will have a long line of customers waiting on the horizon for you,” said a statement from D’appolonia’s parents.
“You have a great work ethic and you’re not afraid to roll up your sleeves.”
Heartfelt messages were also read aloud to SSL graduates Hanna Shulze, Clare Snelrove and Yasmin Evans.
Graduates also honoured SSL staff member Joyce Oostindie, who recently announced her departure from the school to be closer to her family.
At the end of the ceremony, students gathered together to throw their caps high up in the sky and mark the next chapter of their lives.