The closing ceremonies of the St. Vincent Euphrasia Elementary School (SVE) on Friday, May 14, was both a bittersweet farewell to a 51-year-old institution and at the same time a celebration of the school’s rich legacy and history.
School principle Tracy Dinsmore, staff, students, and school district officials presented a virtual closing ceremony that now can be viewed on YouTube at:
SVE served the municipality over several generations, according to Bluewater District School Director of Education Lori Wilder. As a former teacher and principal of the Georgian Bay Community School, she has taught the majority of the current teaching staff at SVE.
“The feeling this evening is one of bittersweetness,” she said. “While we can hardly wait to usher in a new era with the opening of our Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 school, we also say goodbye to an institution that has served multiple generations of Meaford-area students and staff. To current students, their parents, and their grandparents, SVE has been a caring, friendly, and engaging learning environment.
“It is important to remember that bricks and mortar do not define a school community. It is ultimately the student and staff and local community who embody a school’s culture and history through the traditions they honor and the memories they create.
“The students and staff from SVE who first set foot in their new school in September will carry that sense of pride and spirit with them. The SVE legacy will carry on and evolve into a new school.”
The virtual ceremonies included testimonies from students sharing their favourite memories of SVE, and a slide show of old and new photographs and memorabilia.
The last day of the school year for both SVE and Georgian Bay Community School students will be on June 28. In September, all students will report to the new Jr K to Grade 12 school that is nearing completion, adjacent to SVE.
Superintendent of Education Keith Lefebvre encouraged everyone to celebrate all the memories and friendship that have been made at SVE over the years. At the same time, he encouraged everyone to look forward to September and the opening of the new school.
“I have been through the new school a few times,” he said. “And I can tell you it is absolutely wondrous.”