While there were many sad faces in the Quinte Secondary School gymnasium on Wednesday morning, it was also a day of celebration.
Students and staff held closing ceremonies at the school to mark the end of an era as the school will close their doors for the final time at the end of June.
The school which is home to approximately 580 students, was one of many chosen to close because of declining enrollment.
Emcee Delanie Austin says while the end is near for many students, it’s all about making the best of it.
Principal Liane Woodley told the crowd that while they didn’t have a choice about the school closing, they do have a choice about what happens next.
She teared up and needed a couple of quick pauses to compose herself as she said goodbye.
Woodley said there is a strong sense of belonging at the school and the students and staff make Quinte a great place to be.
Mandy Savery-Whiteway told those in attendance “Your blood runs blue and gray, and always will.”
The Director of Education for the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board told them they have created a culture of belonging, a community and they are all a part of something very special and she has faith that tradition will continue.
She says Quinte stands for grace, grit, pride, resilience and commitment and they have a spirit second to none.
Savery-Whiteway told them “Saints always go marching on”.
Austin says while students are trying to make the most of their last month at Quinte, they are looking forward to what the future has in store.
This weekend there will be a number of events and activities to mark the school closing.
Quinte students will be attending the consolidated Moira Secondary School or Centennial Secondary School.