Looking Back


June means Grad

All students, no matter what age, look forward to the end of June and Grad. These days, even playschool children have a "graduation" ceremony! It hasn't always been that way in Onoway.


Back in the early 20th century, simply attending school was an accomplishment but schools sprung up, became larger and a "real" education came within reach of most rural children. Graduation from grade 12 became an increasingly desirable goal but grade 12 courses weren't offered in Onoway until the 1945-1946 school year. Prior to that, students had to go to a larger centre (or Lac Ste. Anne Dormitory) to finish high school. At last, in June 1947 the first three students graduated from Beaupré School: Beatrice Evans, Harry Taylor and Clarence Tomlinson.


Honor Students
Honor students – This composite photo of the top grade 9 students in 1953-1954 was intended
to inspire other students who followed them. Four of the five graduated in 1957.

Beaupré School was one building where all grades were taught. There were additions and expansions over the years but it was essentially one unit. To show the importance of advancing to "high school", photos of grade nine honor students were hung on the school wall.

                                    70 Programme
Grad 70

Grad 70 program – Students now graduate from OHS, not Beaupré.

Grad 70 names - Copies of the Grad 70 programme were printed on the Gestetner in the staff work room.

In 1960 a five-room high school was built on the hill north-east of the Brick School but the two buildings were still Beaupré School. With the start of the 1969-1970 school term, Onoway Elementary School and Onoway Jr. Sr. High School replaced Beaupre School. That year, Onoway boasted 57 graduates.


By 2000, there were 90 grads. The grad class of 2012 was the largest to date with 120 students. And the graduation celebrations just kept getting better.

Class of 2011 
Class of 2011 - Tickets ware required to gain
admission to the graduation celebration.

Graduates of 2019 – Congratulations! Treasure the memories! Save the memorabilia and keep hard copies – they will pass the test of time!

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Last updated: June 23, 2019