Grad 2020 Thank You! 

a message from our grad co-ordinator, Mrs. Karen Jones

Grad 2020 Thanks:
Our DCS Personal Prom Extravaganza (PPE!) proved once again how blessed we are to live and work in a small community.  The word went out three weeks ago that we were setting a Grad 2020 date and the resulting messages offering support and funding for supplies were overwhelming!  The level of teamwork from DCS Staff was unprecedented! And the families of our four Senior Students were absolutely the best to work and plan with…Thank you to everyone involved in this year’s Grad!!

Thanks to the community members and organizations who had a hand in creating one of the most memorable Grad experiences EVER: 

To the women who lent Grad gowns so that Dailey and Donna could have a gown try-on experience right here in town:  Tammy Blackwell and girls, Marnie Thorpe and girls, Lauren Jones, Megan Keeler, Bev Ptolemy and girls, Wendy and Mackenzie Jones, Jade Ballek, and Kristin Ward.  We had 18 dresses and a LOT of fun!
     - H & S Backhoe and Dinsmore Auto Care – thank you so much for those FANTASTIC street banners – what a gorgeous public celebration of those kids!! 
The Village of Dinsmore – thank you for the work and time it took to put up (and replace…THAT WIND!) the banners – they look great!  Thank you as well for gathering and making available the decorations for the residents’ yards…it was a great way to get the whole community involved in this event!
     - The R.M. of King George – thank you for the beautiful yard signs for each of the Grads’ families…so classy!  What a great souvenir for the families!
     - Prairie Centre Credit Union – on behalf of the Grad families, thank you for providing the entire family BBQ menu…burgers/hotdogs/salads/drinks…and a gorgeous celebration cake to top it off!  Special thanks to Dean Bencharski for organizing that and to the whole Bencharski family for delivering it!
     - Thanks to Judy Lawes and the King George Hall Board for allowing us to use the Hall as a weather backup for the family BBQ!
     - Dinsmore Auto Care – thanks to Kelly and J.C. and family for serving pre-parade treats for folks to enjoy!
     - Brad Blackwell for publicizing our plans on the Main Street sign.
     - To the Dinsmore Fire Department:  I just can’t say enough about you!  I asked for a couple of trucks to lead us in the parade and you prepped and drove FOUR of them!  Your contribution to that part of our celebrations made it so much more fun for everyone!  Thanks to Gregg Orban, James Green, Terry Orban, Benson Thorpe, Brad Blumer, Brayden Atkinson, Justin Dawe, Justin James, Stann Mann, and Chad Annala.  I’m sure you all had other things you could have been doing on a Saturday afternoon, but the fact that you came to town to participate in that parade meant so much to the kids and your community…thanks to all of you!!
     - Troy Atkinson and Les Meyers – thank you so much for all of the extra work it took to get those gorgeous cars to town for the kids to use in the parade…they looked amazing!!  Thanks to Troy and to Wyatt Jones for driving!   
     - James and Jesse Thorpe – thanks for getting those old tractors up and running for the parade – those were a great addition!!
     - Cole Buchanan  - thanks for polishing up that truck to use in the parade!
     - Thanks to the Grad Families for joining us for the parade…with special thanks to the determined bike riders who toughed it out in that wind!!
     - Thanks to the official photographer of Grad 2020, Shanda Mann, for once again producing the most beautiful photos possible in a ridiculous weather situation!  The casual photos you took of the kids for their banners are so beautiful!  Thanks for being so creative and flexible – we love your work and truly appreciate your contributions to this event!
Economy Stationery in Rosetown:  you were FANTASTIC…your work looks amazing!  We will be back…
     - Dave McIver and Derek Ruttle from the Rosetown Eagle and the Outlook respectively – we appreciate your support and coverage of this event!
     - Dinsmore Buckhorn Branch, DCS SRC, Jeff Lawrence, and the SYA for sponsoring Grad Awards this year.

And finally, to the citizens of this town and surrounding areas:  thank you all so much for coming out, cheering, waving, hammering on your cow bells (!), firing up your car alarms, and showing those four kids and their families how much you care.  You were the icing on the cake (the ice cubes in the lemonade??), helping to make that day one of the most wonderful experiences! We are all so lucky to live here!

Thanks to my DCS Staff colleagues who stepped up to build this most unusual Prom experience:
     - Ms. Megan Keeler for her work behind the scenes to prep the Awards and to take care of my paperwork needs!
     - Mrs. Jade Ballek for both her support of our plans for this year’s Grad, and for her work compiling all of the videos to distribute to the Grads’ families this year…a new job, but one that produced some fantastic keepsakes for our families.
     - Mrs. Carol Rychlo and Mrs. Shauna Morrison for planning, designing, and organizing the printed products that were new and exciting this year:  the banners, the yard signs, and the magnets for the vehicles in the parade.  They turned out so great!! Thanks to the sponsors of those products: the DCS SRC, H & S Backhoe, Dinsmore Auto Care, and the R.M. of King George.
     - Mrs. Shauna Morrison and Mrs. Kristin Ward for their work planning the decorations for the first (annual???) DCS Grad Parade…you ran with the theme and produced beautiful results!
     - Mr. Lance Morrison for being Parade Marshall and getting everyone lined up and ready to go! Mrs. Lori Beattie for your work organizing cars for the parade.
Mrs. Kristin Ward  - thank you so much for taking time to create the baby picture slide shows for our families to enjoy!!
     - Jade, Megan, Carol, Lori, Shauna, Lance, Kristin, and Shannon McJannet: thanks for joining in on the PPE.  Your presence spoke volumes…and your stories and kind (and funny!) words made the ceremonies so personal.
     - To Jade and Maureen McIntyre who created personal video messages for the kids and to the DCS students who gave our Seniors great advice – thank you!
     - And to the staff members who came to decorate cars on Friday night - Shauna, Kristin, Lori (and Ainsley), Carol, Rhonda, and Terry Orban, who saved our skins by adding grommets to a couple of magnets! -  and ALL OF YOU who came to cheer at the parade, THANK YOU!! I consider myself blessed to work with such community-minded, supportive, and caring staff members like you!

And finally, but with most gratitude, I thank the families of Will, Dailey, Cole, and Jesse.  It took us a couple of months to get over the fact that we were not going to be able to have a “proper” Grad for these kids, but your creativity, openness to new ideas, fantastic suggestions, and support in this effort produced one of the most memorable Grads we will ever see.  I will look back on this experience as an advisor with such fondness because you were willing to experiment with a new format and build what may become new traditions.  I love you all and know that without your contributions, this would never have been the positive experience it became. 

     To Amber and Chris and James and Marnie:  the hard reality is that we had a very different DCS closure with your families.  We are sending your youngest sons out into the world and away from DCS; but know that even though we will miss you and your boys in this building, you will always have a special place in our hearts and will remain part of the DCS family. 
To Twyla and Marc and Donna, John, and Lorne: this experience will give you license to co-create the most amazing Grad experiences for your younger children!  You have worked through something challenging with amazing results!  I am so grateful to have been able to work with all of you.

Dailey, Cole, Jesse, and Will:  We did our best for you as a community; we completely stepped outside the box to try to make your day personal and memorable…I hope you will look back on Saturday, June 13, 2020 with fondness.  We will miss all of you in the halls of Dinsmore Composite School, but we are so excited to send you out to share your talents with the world.  Best wishes!!  

Life certainly did hand us a big bag of lemons this year, but by working together, I think we created the BEST lemonade!!         

 ~Karen Jones