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DTI Holds Virtual Graduation for ABE Class of 2020

By Marilyn Black

Jun 5, 2020

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The Dumont Technical Institute’s Adult Basic Education (ABE) program in Saskatoon held a virtual graduation ceremony on May 25, 2020. We celebrated achievements of 18 students who completed ABE Level 4 and earned high school diplomas.


The 18 high school graduates included Tyson Bueckert, Brandon Caisse, Destiny Dzik, Richard Johnson, Kristin Kalk, Ryan Klyne, Brandon Larocque, Lisa Moberly, Josh Morin, Jesse Natewayes, Shelly Nesdole, Breanna Poitras, Morgan Ratt, Morgan Scott, Jack Shorter, Shaun Vandale, Gillis Norton, and Tyler Ramsay.


Another 13 graduates had successfullyl completed their upgrading: Kasie Ausland, Courtney-Dawn Ballendine, Shawna Battersby, Gloria Brown, Matt Desjarlais, Georgia Dolter, Kimberly Harris, Krystal Kirchner, Tyanna Seright, Katlyn Sharp, Dawn St. Germain, Ryan Thompson, and Brandi Tourand.


Also honoured were 14 students who completed ABE Level 3. All 14 plan to return to DTI in September 2020 to complete their Level 4 (high school diploma) studies.


The graduation ceremony looked different than was originally planned this year. First, learning was moved from face-to-face at DTI Centre, to remote learning amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the amazing ABE instructors got down to task to ensure that all students had what they needed to continue on with their learning at home using various distance, online learning platforms such as Goggle Classroom, Facebook groups, email, etc. Everyone quickly adapted to the new ‘norm’ for the remainder of the year.


It was an honour to work and learn alongside these goal-oriented students whose future plans include pursuing further studies in such fields as nursing, engineering, Indigenous Social Work, veterinarian technician program, mental health and wellness, and teacher education among others. A number of graduates have secured admission to the University of Saskatchewan, SIIT, DTI, and SUNTEP.


The ZOOM graduation program in the afternoon of May 25 started off in a good way with prayers and a message to the students from Cort Dogniez (Métis education consultant with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools).  The program coordinator, Marilyn Black and instructors each shared achievements and stories from the year, which showcased the determination and grit of the students, which is a large part of Métis culture.


Tyson Bueckert gave the valedictorian address and his family helped to decorate his home background, which again, shows how DTI continues to impact students, families and the larger community.


Kristin Kalk gave a ‘Thank-you speech’ and emphasized the importance and strength of building a positive, supportive network. The video, collaborated on by the instructors and created by Jennifer Mahlberg, helped to capture some of the highlights of the DTI ABE student experience.


Yes, this was not a typical graduation ceremony, but, it still had a personal feel as each student was honoured and given an ‘award’ and gifted a beautiful blanket with an embossed DTI logo, along with the usual certificate and sash.  More importantly, we learned that we are all strong, resilient and can learn in different settings – which is incredibly empowering and a characteristic of Métis people!”

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Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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