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   current Grade 12 photo. After the parade, Ms. Gayle’s smaller FISers said how much fun they had and asked her if she would do the same for them when they graduate. One said, “That was so fun! I can’t wait to do that.”
As they paraded through the Primary School, Seniors Agnes K. and Benine D. stopped to take photos as the little ones smiled and cheered. For Benine, it was an “amazing, emotional and strangely weird” experience all in one. Walking through the Primary, the place of her first day of school, and now on her last day of school, was a moving experience especially when seeing Ms. Gayle. Benine was glad to have this chance.
Mr. Draft affirmed that the value of the parade is that it allows seniors “to see themselves as representatives of the broader FIS community and role models for our younger students.”In this
Continuous cheering, punctuated by hugs and high fives, greeted seniors as they made their way through the Elementary School (above and opposite page); in the Primary School, young students held posters for some of the graduating seniors (left)
“Wearingthecapandgowndidn’tfeelrealatfirst,” joyousmarch,seniors“representtheculmination
she said. “But during the parade it felt more and more real that it was our last day and that we were done with school.” For Agnes, “walking in cap and gown down the hallways of FIS felt super surreal.” She loved seeing old teachers and all the students sharing their excitement with the seniors. For her it was a blast to be playing music in the hallways and celebrating with the entire grade level. Going to the Primary was also filled with nostalgia for Agnes and made her reminisce of many happy times.
The Senior Parade is just a few years old, but in its short life span has been strengthened by the challenges posed by Covid over the past two years
– it was canceled in 2020, and held only outside on the FIS Boulevard in 2021. But this relatively new tradition is a keeper. Ms. Gayle summed up the importance of this event, “The parade is a lovely way to bring it back full circle” and show each senior how proud the whole school is of their accomplishments.
of all that so many people here are working for and toward.”The circle was filled with the“younger students envisioning themselves as seniors in the parade one day, and our seniors remembering themselves as the young students.”Indeed, as Mr. Draft said, this is “marvelous send-off”, “the joy on the faces of the young students, teachers and every person encountered was impossible to miss.”
And who is the mentor behind the idea of a Senior Parade? All asked pointed toward Grade 9-12 Assistant Principal Pete Sinclair, who in turn – as it is so true at FIS – said this brilliance was the result of teamwork and a true collaborative effort. Each senior walking the parade is a true original; a masterpiece of collaboration. Seniors, parents and teachers, counselors and coaches in a world filled to the rim with opportunities deserve a bow and a fantastic Clap Out for the finish line is nearly there of a long journey well done!
Deirdre Harriet-Boettcher FIS Parent
June 2022 FIS World 21

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