Thursday, November 19, 2015

November 19. Day 323. School's out for ever

The war cry
A pat on the back from class teacher Marcus Brown
The official parade of honour through the school grounds and out the gate
It seriously pisses me off about school awards nights - the same old predictable categories, academic, sporting and service. This narrow description of education misses true grit performance and as such I feel like tonight I was robbed. Because if there had been an award for the most tears shed by a parent of a graduating student I would have had it in the bag. After the second of two graduating ceremonies, I hugged my boy on the school oval and for five minutes neither of us let go and we sobbed. I'm sure an onlooker or two probably muttered to him or herself "For God's sake it's Year 12 and not the Nobel Peace Prize". No it isn't a Nobel prize, it's more than that. For reasons it's not worth going into right now the high school years have not treated us well. There were many, many days when it felt like thinking of a senior certificate was like dreaming the impossible dream. But like the song says "I get knocked down, and I get up  again" and that's how it went. Day after day. Week after week. Year after year. Some reading this may think "why wouldn't you just change schools?" To them I say, I know for sure and certain that the school journey may have been a very rocky road but without the dedication, the compassion and the unflinching support of the staff at St Laurence's,  the road would have been a highway to hell.  The school was NOT part of the problem. The school was most definitely part of the solution. When he fell, there was always a teacher at the school to give him a hand back up. Always. And those same men and women were there today to share in the celebration of a job well done. So yes, watching the graduation brought a lump to my throat and when we had that hug on the oval and Oliver said "we did it, Mum" that's when we both lost it and the tears flowed. Officially it's a piece of paper, a Senior Certificate but it represents so much more than that. And I will never forget the support team who helped make it happen. Some people say when it comes to education you get what you pay for. Perhaps. But I know the returns we received were far, far greater than what I handed over in school fees in six years. To all those who invested time, effort and love, I say thank-you from the bottom of my heart. We will never forget.
The celebrations extended to the skies
Singing the school song for the last time
Head of senior school Chris Oakes, a man I consider to be a saint among men.

A most warm embrace from Head of Year 12 Lisa Foster
The Year 11s send the senior class on their way

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