This time of year is always a time of both beginnings and endings and graduation at Logan Lake Secondary School on June 12, 2015 was a prime example.

Teachers and support staff were ushered into the auditorium by Const. Steve Grouhal, looking official in red serge. Wendy Lloyd was the event emcee with popular former teacher Donna Youd leading the audience in the singing of “O Canada!” as well as bringing greetings on behalf of Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart.

Other special guests for the evening included Cara McKelvy representing the SD73 board of trustees and Ms. Trina Cassidy, SD73’s director of finance.

With a class of only 12 grads, the entire ceremony was especially cozy.

There were presenters such as Mayor Robin Smith and commencement speaker, Mr. Darren Clark, experiencing emotional tugs on their respective hearts as they spoke.

The  presentation of awards by individuals representing a variety of  groups, businesses and agencies is traditionally a ceremony highlight.

It and shows the co-operative spirit and support LLSS receives from the community and which may otherwise go unnoticed throughout the school year.

Between Justin Berg, Becky Philip and Kianna Trouton, these grads received almost $10,000 in scholarships and awards.

Other special award winners were Liam Morton, who received the W.H.Y.’s community spirit award, and Clayton Fox, who received a silver medal from Regional Skills Canada.

Special guest Cpl. Kat Thain, Logan Lake’s RCMP detachment commander, brought greetings to the grads with a gentle but firm reminder to have both a safe and fun grad weekend.

She also acknowledged Ms. Mockikas’ assistance in helping the detachment build relationships with the Logan Lake community and within both schools.

At the conclusion of her remarks, she presented a gift card to Ms. Mochikas from the detachment.

The valedictory address given by Becky Philip and Justin Berg was followed by another LLSS tradition, the grad video, prepared this year by Jessica Lester. This offered yet another opportunity for both tears and laughter.

Another highlight was the amazing vocal gift presented by grad, Megan Lizotte who sang “Stay with Me.”

Something unexpected but nonetheless interesting was when grads crossed the stage to receive their diplomas, they presented Ms. Mochikas with special cans of soda each decorated with special grad comments.

During her time in Logan Lake, Ms. Mochikas’ grad remarks have always reached out to  grads and guests.

“I truly hope your entire school experience has been full of positive experiences, great friendships and treasured memories,” she said. “We want to know about your future successes so that we can celebrate them with you. You are always welcome to visit and continue your connection with us.”

She concluded by saying, “We will continue to care about you and wish you the best. I’m proud of you. You will always be my little champions.” Her words were greeted with a standing ovation by grads and members of the audience in recognition of an amazing woman.

Then the grads rose up with cheers and shouts of joy to toss their caps in the air. That was followed by hugs and congratulations from friends and family and a time to meet over refreshments prepared and served by the parents and students of next year’s grad class.

Special thanks to everyone who offered time, talent, financial support, dedication and commitment which together created the success for LLSS’s 2015 Graduation Ceremony.

Ms. Mochikas will be recognized at a community gathering at the high school on Wednesday, June 24 from 3:30 to 5 p.m.