As Portage Collegiate Institute (PCI) seniors cross the stage and collect their high school diploma, Valedictorian Abby Reichert says it's a day filled with mixed emotions.

While the PCI grads are undoubtedly excited about a day twelve grades in the making, Reichert notes that it can also mean some heartfelt goodbyes.

"It's a sad time almost because of all that we're leaving behind," explains Reichert. "Our classes, our teachers, our friends, maybe even the town if we're moving away. It's pretty scary as well because of all the options ahead of us."

During her final year as a student in PCI, Reichert decided to push for being Valedictorian. She says it was a bit of a shock when she learned that she was awarded the role.

"It's a very big honour. I wasn't expecting it because the other candidates were also amazing but it feels really great to be recognized by the student body like this."

While looking at what the future could hold is certainly frightening, she's also excited as she believes that the graduating class will pursue what they feel passionate about.

"A lot of us are very sad to be leaving our friends and all of these past 12 years behind," says Reichert. "But we're also realizing that our friends will stay with us forever, even if we move across the country or lose contact, they will be a part of us forever."

On top of the Valedictorian speech, there will be a toast to the graduates presented by McKenna Sharpe and Jack Holmes. Sharpe says getting to put the final stamp on graduation is a big honour.

McKenna Sharpe.McKenna Sharpe.

"It's really special to me that I'm able to say some words to my classmates," says Sharpe. "Some of them I've known since we were five, going into kindergarten. I've met so many people throughout school and made so many connections. It's special that I get to go out there and say the last few final words to everyone before we go off and party for the night."

Jack Holmes.Jack Holmes

Nunerous grad festivities are taking place throughout the day Wednesday at Stride Place.