The Foothills Composite High School and Alberta High School of Fine Arts Class of 2024 had their commencement this week (May 16) at the Centennial Arena.

It was a celebration not only of this year's grads, but of the school's 40th anniversary.

Speaking to all in attendance, FCHS' Principal Kerry Walsh gave some context to that milestone.

"The year the school opened, Okotoks had a population of about 5000 people, and the school welcomed 450 students. Fast forward to today and Okotoks population... is about 32,000. I think our actual number today is 1,355 students attending our school this year. Another fun fact; the first graduating class, 40 years ago, had 140 students, Today we have 444 graduates."

Grads and their families also heard from Okotoks Mayor Tanya Thorn, Foothills School Division Superintendent Chris Fuzessy and Board Chair Theresa Letendre, and Otipemisiwak Metis Government Citizens’ Representative Lisa San Filippo.

Emma Cunningham delivered a commencement address to her fellow graduates.

"It has taken an incredible amount of courage, commitment, and integrity to get us through this treacherous world of high school. So, as our time here comes to a close, we should continue to display these traits of the Falcon, so that we, like the 39 graduating classes that have come before us, can tackle the next chapter of our lives with ease," said Cunningham. "Though for some of us the future seems to be all planned out, and others still don't what we want to be when we grow up, we all came from these same Foothills Comp roots."

To cap off her speech, Cunningham instructed her fellow graduates to look under their chairs, where they would each find a kazoo.

All in attendance were then treated to a kazoo arrangement of Queen's We Are the Champions from the Class of 2024.