30 cap and gown-clad graduates proudly marched onto the stage at Rocky View Schools Education Center yesterday (May 30) to receive their diplomas from a school that has meant the world to most. them.
The students were graduates of the RVS Community Learning Center, with campuses in Airdrie, Chestermere and Cochrane. Murray Arnold is the principal of the school and took the time to describe what the Community Learning Center is all about.
“Because we are an alternative school, all kinds of students come to us and as they progress through the education system and arrive at the graduation point, they can come with their families and celebrate today.”
Arnold says campuses receive a wide variety of students. “Some of them would be heavily involved in music or sports, so they practice for hours a day and school doesn’t work for them,” says Arnold. “Other students have medical issues that hinder and interfere with their learning and they can’t sit in desks for medical reasons. Sometimes we have social / emotional issues with anxiety and class size. and the big schools don’t work for them.Other students work part time and they find their way outside of a mainstream school system and we give them the opportunity to go where they want to go.
Jacob Legault, 21, of Airdrie, was one of the students who graduated yesterday. Legault says he had all but given up on the idea of graduating before the Learning Center kicked in for him. “I was just going to George Mac before and it wasn’t working for me so I came to RVLC here and the help is just crazy here. They will go above and beyond for you. I didn’t think I would be. able to graduate. I was going to take my GDL but they said ‘no you can do it’ and they just helped me. “
Legault says the regular school left him in too large a class for his liking and that he found the individual attention he received from the Learning Center to be more to his liking. “They are super nice and sweet and look like family. They always make sure you are doing your best and ask you how you are doing.”
In addition to obtaining his diploma, Legault took another important step in his future. “I just got a job at a dog daycare, Four On the Floor here in Airdrie. I’m going to work there for a bit, as a dog handler, then hopefully I can do dog massages and work my way up the ranks. over there doing things with animals. “
Legault says his whole family is extremely proud to have graduated from high school. This includes the lady for whom he wanted to do it. “My grandma is super proud. I really wanted to do it for her because she always wanted to see me graduate. I’m super happy and really proud of myself.”
The other person who could barely contain his pride was Principal Murray Arnold. “I meet these students and their parents and a lot of them come up with some pretty sad stories about their educational experience and their life experience, so watching them stand here today and walk through this scene brings tears to my eyes. I love these children and I am so proud of them. “
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