Sydney Academy prom

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY JEREMY FRASER jeremy.fraser@cb­

Par­ents work­ing to make SA prom, grad party a re­al­ity.

For most stu­dents like Andrew Binns, prom is a night they look for­ward to their en­tire life and now grad­u­ates at Sydney Academy can breath a lit­tle eas­ier.

A par­ents group, made up of par­ents of grad­u­at­ing Sydney Academy stu­dents, has formed a com­mit­tee that is work­ing to raise money and plan for prom and safe grad in June.

Binns said the stu­dents at the school are thank­ful for the par­ents’ ef­forts, al­low­ing them to ex­pe­ri­ence prom.

“Ev­ery­body is very pleased, ev­ery­one is happy, be­cause ev­ery stu­dent lives for that mo­ment of grad­u­a­tion and go­ing to the prom,” said the Grade 12 stu­dent. “I’ve spo­ken to many stu­dents and they are happy the par­ents have stepped in and are tak­ing con­trol — ev­ery­one is look­ing for­ward to it.”

The prov­inces 9,300 teach­ers have been work­ing to rule since Dec. 5, with the ex­cep­tion of one week in Jan­uary. It means teach­ers are not in­volved in ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties, like school clubs and prom.

The par­ents group is sep­a­rate from the school and the prom and safe grad will be fully funded by the com­mit­tee.

Michelle Au­coin, whose son is grad­u­at­ing from Sydney Academy this year, is among six ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers work­ing be­hind the scenes.

She said the com­mit­tee formed in early Jan­uary and has been work­ing daily to make plans for the prom and safe grad.

“We knew we had to do this — they have to have their safe grad or some­thing like it and we fig­ured we could pull it off,” said Au­coin. “We have re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to our kids, no mat­ter what mile­stone they go through, and this is ab­so­lutely no dif­fer­ent, and this year they need us.”

Au­coin said grad­u­at­ing stu­dents need to know they are go­ing to have a prom and safe grad.

“They will have prom and safe grad, they will have a grand march, they will have a grad­u­a­tion — there is ab­so­lutely noth­ing they are go­ing to miss out on,” she said.

The com­mit­tee held a meet­ing last month and handed out do­na­tion let­ters to par­ents in an at­tempt to raise the more than $25,000 needed for prom and safe grad. Many busi­nesses in Sydney and the sur­round­ing area have al­ready made dona­tions.

Aside from the par­ents, Sydney Academy alumni have also stepped up to help the com­mit­tee in its ef­forts.

“We have had alumni who are busi­ness own­ers in the com­mu­nity who have called and have told me they would like to help out by vol­un­teer­ing or mak­ing dona­tions,” said Au­coin. “We have ex­cep­tional alumni at Sydney Academy and we have been blown away by the sup­port.”

Binns said the stu­dents at one point were ner­vous there wouldn’t be a prom.

“I played on the hockey team at Sydney Academy and when all the events were taken away, I didn’t know what to ex­pect — it was a ter­ri­ble feel­ing — but I’m glad the par­ents have stepped up for us, ” he said. “They are turn­ing this year into a great year.”

Binns said he fully sup­ports the teach­ers at Sydney Academy and will con­tinue to sup­port them un­til the end of the work-to-rule job ac­tion.

The par­ents com­mit­tee will host a meet­ing for par­ents of grad­u­at­ing Sydney Academy stu­dents on Sun­day at 6 p.m. at the Hol­i­day Inn in Sydney. The com­mit­tee is en­cour­ag­ing all par­ents to at­tend.

The com­mit­tee will also host a safe grad auc­tion on April 7 at the Hol­i­day Inn. The prom is sched­uled for June 26 at Cen­tre 200.


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