YCIS Pudong Graduation – The Class of 2020

Written by: Tim Gartz, University and Guidance Counselor                   

On Friday, June 12, our YCIS Pudong our Year 13 students celebrated the school’s first ever, live streamed Graduation Ceremony. This was an exciting evening filled with happiness, laughter and well-wishes as we reviewed individual and group accomplishments marking the course of our graduates’ time in our school – with some as far back as the earliest days of Early Childhood and Primary. The evening offered many moments of celebration as our students received their YCIS diplomas and took their place as honorable alumni.

The graduation began with beautiful social-fare with tables designated to each graduate with balloons, catered cuisine by Eurest and the opportunity to socialize with friends in our courtyard. Promptly at 6pm our graduates began their processional to the theater. It was such a joyful experience to see each student in their caps and gowns that was made even more special because of recent campus closure due to COVID-19 and the possibility that this event might not happen. Fortunately, for all in attendance and for those watching the livestream through the PolyV platform our community was able to share in this historic event.

The programme began with a special message of congratulations by our Yew Chung Education Foundation CEO, Dr. Betty Chan followed by an introduction of the class by our University Guidance Counselor Mr. Timothy Gartz. Year 13 tributes followed as each graduate made their way through the theater carrying a rose for their families as a token of appreciation. Special highlights and memorable moments also included: two highly technical musical numbers by Year 12 students Kevin Du and Elena Yu who sang and played an original composition called: Stars to Count. Carefully crafted videos were also shown reminiscing times gone by, the demonstration of friendship and well-wishes by past faculty and friends. Our keynote address was offered by the graduates’ Home Room advisors Ms. Danielle Thal and Mr. Andy Clapperton, while humor and caring insight reigned as this year’s Head Prefects Joey Wan and Zachary Ong shared their special insights about their classmates and all they experienced. The programme was an exciting display as each point made the event one to remember.

As the graduation continued, it was time for Mr. Matthew Grady’s IB Coordinator’s message and the granting of diplomas accompanied by our Co-Principals Mr. Damien Hehir and Ms. Mary Yu. It was exciting as each name was called and graduates came on stage to receive their long-awaited diplomas. With a countdown of 3, Mr. Grady then led the class in throwing their caps as the graduates’ excitement soared and applause reached a crescendo. It was wonderful to see the graduates smiles, knowing their hard work had accumulated in such a joyful moment of celebration. This year’s class was particularly special because of the challenges they faced together in navigating successfully through COVID-19 and months of e-Learning and campus closure. They were resilient in their approach through these unique challenges while earning top university acceptances around the world. We wish each of our graduates the very best as they confidently go forward as proud alumni of our school. Congratulations! Class of 2020.