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Graduation ceremonies can often feel like the end of an era and evoke mixed emotions in students — there’s an excitement that’s mingled with a faint trepidation about the future, an eagerness to fly the nest while also yearning for familiarity, and a youthful enthusiasm to build new friendships without fracturing old ones.

But perhaps most importantly, it also celebrates the dawn of a new era in students’ lives. It honours their achievements, and reminds them of the limitless opportunities that await them. It’s a celebration of the past and the future.

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Befitting the momentous milestone, American School of Dubai (ASD) organises several celebratory events for their graduating class. For instance, as per the school’s tradition, it organised Final 50, where students marked the last 50 days of school with a festive evening to celebrate their achievements and contributions. “Parents and families of the graduating class were invited to attend the celebration,” says Kristine Stamp-Jerabek, High School Principal.

Kristine Stamp-Jerabek, High School Principal, American School of Dubai

The senior parade was held on Wednesday, where seniors were recognised by the student body. Senior students and their parents then gathered for the on-campus breakfast which was followed by the Red Envelope Ceremony and Senior Awards Ceremony. In the former, seniors read out letters penned by their beloved teachers, and in the latter, their outstanding contributions in the fields of arts, athletics, service, science, business, technology, diplomacy, and international understanding were acknowledged.

American School of Dubai (ASD)
American School of Dubai (ASD) organised the celebratory senior parade earlier this week at its campus Image Credit: Supplied

This weekend, 183 ebullient students of the Class of 2024 will attend the school’s 31st graduation ceremony. “The Ambassador’s Award for Academic Excellence will be presented to the outstanding academic student. We also present the Class Valedictorian and Class Salutatorian to the community,” says Stamp-Jerabek.

At GEMS Al Khaleej International School, the graduation celebrations kick off with the Grade 12 graduates’ walk of honour around the school as students from other grades and parents cheer them on. Describing it as an “emotionally resonant experience for everyone involved”, Ghadeer Abu-Shamat, Superintendent and CEO, GEMS Al Khaleej International School and Senior Vice President – Education, GEMS Education, explains that the seniors personally thank and show their gratitude for their teachers and faculty.

Ghadeer Abu-Shamat, Superintendent and CEO, GEMS Al Khaleej International School and Senior Vice President – Education, GEMS Education

“Our graduation ceremony reflects the unique accomplishments of each student with a theme that embodies our school’s vision, UAE culture, and our students’ many achievements,” Abu-Shamat continues. “Additionally, we prepare personalised highlights showcasing each graduate’s journey and successes.” The programme also includes inspirational speeches from prominent alumni.

This year, the graduation ceremony at Global Indian International School (GIIS) Dubai was doubly special, as the school’s first batch of Grade 12 students excelled in the CBSE board exams.

Antony Koshy, Principal, GIIS Dubai

“At GIIS Dubai we celebrated the graduation ceremony for our first batch of outgoing Grade 12 students. This milestone was celebrated with unparalleled fervour, marking a historic moment in our school’s journey,” says Antony Koshy, Principal, GIIS Dubai.

The proud parents of graduating students were in attendance as well. The celebrations continued into the evening, as the school hosted a masquerade-themed farewell party. Students arrived in elegant attire and stylish masks, lending the evening an air of intrigue and glamour. “The vibrant decorations, lively music, and heartfelt speeches created an enchanting atmosphere, making it a night to remember,” he adds. ■