A Chapter Ends and a New One Begins: Celebrating Graduates in Langley

June 24, 2022

“Excited” and “awesome” are just some of the words to describe how some graduates of the Langley School District are feeling these days. Graduation ceremonies and events have returned after a long break without them due to COVID.

“Two years of COVID have cost our students much in opportunities to come together as a community, and acknowledge the hard work put into their learning, arts, and athletics,” said Mal Gill, Superintendent of the Langley School District.

Gill says the District is elated to have these traditions that mark an education milestone in the lives of students back in operation.

“We are so glad to have these meaningful celebrations back. A positive culture of learning, excitement, and hope are created through these culminating activities, and provides the energy we all need to continue Langley School District’s mission to inspire all learners to reach their full potential and create a positive legacy for the future,” he added.

One of the events school communities look forward to every year is the grad walk. As part of the grad walk, graduates board District school buses and return to their former elementary and middle schools. The groups of graduates, donned in caps and gowns, walk through the halls of their former schools, as the younger students, teachers, and staff cheer them on. It’s an inspiring opportunity for all involved.

“It’s an inclusive K-12 experience that give younger students the opportunity to see what is possible, what they can look forward to in the future, and collectively celebrate that sense of accomplishment through these graduates,” explains Gill on the benefits of the grad walk.

As part of the Langley Fundamental Middle Secondary (LFMSS) grad walk which took place on Monday, June 20, graduates visited Langley Fundamental Elementary and Coghlan Fundamental Elementary.

“Feels like it was yesterday but also forever a go, so, it’s really great to be visiting again,” said Esther, one of three LFMSS students who attended Coghlan Fundamental Elementary in the primary years.

“It’s really bittersweet because I’m so excited to start a new chapter of my life, but it’s so sad to see this one end, and also really close the last chapter going to Coghlan,” she remarked.

“I feel like I’m going to cry honestly,” said an emotional Lexie, also a graduate and former Coghlan Fundamental Elementary student.

“Very excited and also relieved after twelve years of hard work. I feel like we really earned a grad, and with COVID over the years, so super exciting and super lucky to have it,” commented Morgan, another graduate and former Coghlan Fundamental Elementary student.

On June 15, Langley Secondary held their grad walk, visiting HD Stafford Middle School, Blacklock, Douglas Park, James Hill, Nicomekl, Simonds, and Uplands Elementaries.

“We are seeing the product of our work,” says Uplands Elementary Principal, Karin Kroecher. “of students coming in to us as kindergarteners and getting to the grad stage thirteen years later. And if anything brings us to tears, it’s seeing that we’ve worked together to make that happen.”

“You can just hear them talking in the busses,” says Langley Secondary Principal, Dean Pacheco. “I can’t wait to see Ms. So-and-so, or Mr. So-and-so. They’re just so excited to share their journey with the teachers that helped inspire them and get them to the point where they are today.”

This year, more than 1,500 graduates of the Langley School District will be getting their diplomas and transitioning into a new phase of their life at the end of June.

“To me it’s all about culture, community building, bringing the family of schools together,” says Walnut Grove Secondary Principal, Jeremy Lyndon. “Every year we see it. The smiles, the tears. As soon as they see their kindergarten teacher, the tears just start flowing.”

“We are extremely proud of our students. As individuals and as a group, they have faced many challenges over the years and have overcome them. They have achieved so much, and we want our staff, families, and community to come together to celebrate their successes, just as we have done in the past,” said Aldergrove Community Secondary Principal, Mike Palichuck.