Maggie students plan special grad pic, have a drive-in ceremony

Maggie takes epic grad pic

Princess Margaret Secondary grads may not have had the graduation they thought they would have, but they have a special picture to keep forever and are getting a unique drive-in ceremony experience later this week. 

Autumn Janzen, one of this year's Maggie valedictorians, wanted to make a lasting memory with her class as their time together comes to an end, and when she saw Pen High's unique Penticton sign grad photo earlier this month, she had her own idea. 

"I wanted to do something similar and get as many kids as we could into the photo, seeing as everything is a little bit weird this year and we wouldn't be able to have a traditional photo done at graduation," Janzen explained.

She had previously won a photoshoot with Nadine Ashby of Ash & Bee Photography, and Ashby offered to take group shot. 

"We decided to do it at the beach," Janzen said. "We tried to spell out 2020, you can't really tell, but it does say 2020!"

Of 97 grads, 63 students were able to make it to the shoot. 

"It was a lot more than I was expecting so that's good!"

This week, the school has a plan to make the kids' experience special during graduation month even though they didn't get the classic ceremony. Vice principal Travis Bond said staff are "quite excited and proud about the experience" coming this Thursday and Friday. 

A professionally-produced video of the grad ceremonies, which saw kids accepting their certificates privately in front of their families rather than in front of a crowd of their peers, will be shown on a drive-in style screen at Maggie being rented from Vancouver. 

"[The videographer] is going to stitch together all the videos into one full video," Janzen said. "We have about 50 cars coming each night with students in their family and we get to watch it on the big screen, it should be really good, I believe there's going to be food trucks and stuff as well so I'm really excited."

As one of two class valedictorians, Janzen feels a sense of loss about how her senior year turned out and an appreciation for the aspects that are making it more special. 

"I feel like I definitely am missing out on the whole presenting the speech to everyone live, but I also really enjoyed the way that myself and the other valedictorian Matt Olsen did it this year," Janzen said.

"We ended up doing some pre-recorded videos with one of our teachers, and those videos will be inserted into our speech as well so it's not just us on stage talking the whole time ... it was really cool to be able to do it like that."

She's also happy they get to have a professional video she and her classmates can look back on. 

"That's something we can keep forever. I think it's really cool."

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