Sydney Academy prom
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.