High school graduate student St. Beloved Thomas said goodbye to 1,100 students

It was a one-of-a-kind submission for special graduates.

Students and teachers line the halls of the Parkside Collegiate Institute (PCI) in St. Thomas, Ont. for a rare ‘applause’.

Jackson Virgoe, 21, a student in a developmental education (DE) class, graduated after seven years of high school.

“This is bittersweet for all of us,” said Heather Jacobi, head of PCI. “We don’t have an event where all 1,100 students come out to just applaud one person. It is very special for the whole building.”

Virgoe is considered the ‘unofficial mayor’ of PCI. He spent every hour of recess and lunch walking the school halls, and talking to students.

“I love walking around school and saying ‘Hi,’” says Virgoe.

He knows almost everyone by name.

“I come in every day and he makes me smile,” says Liam Braithwaite, a friend and cooperative student in his DE Class. “Every time we have recess, he is always hanging around the school and he knows everyone’s name. It makes everyone’s day much happier.

Beloved Jackson Virgoe, 21, graduated from Parkside Collegiate Institute in St. Thomas, Ont. He knew the names of almost all 1,100 students. (Brent Lale/CTV London News)

He has a lot of things that he likes and loves. They include Stratford City, stoplight, dinosaurs, Maroon 5 and CTV.

“He had a special comment for everyone,” said Jacobi. “It doesn’t matter if you are new to the building, he is the welcoming committee.”

In DE class he is a friend, and a leader.

On Wednesday during his morning walk on the track, he pushed a classmate in a wheelchair around the track.

“He was kind, compassionate, and helpful,” explains Heather McMahon, an educational assistant in DE’s class.

Braithwaite spends the afternoon in class working with DE students, including Virgoe.

“Sometimes he would come back from the bathroom and knock on the door,” said Braithwaite. “He would jump out and scream ‘Boo’ and it was so much fun. He would always say he was just watching jurassic park and tell people the velociraptor will eat you. It is funny.”

Jackson Virgoe, 21, has lots of love, and they were photographed for their beloved graduate students at the Parkside Collegiate Institute in St. Louis. Thomas, Ont. (Source: Sent) Braithwaite said Virgoe would be missed, but was glad she was gone because “it was time for her to move on.”

When asked if she was sad to leave, Virgoe responded with “Yes.”

He was annoyed he would no longer be walking the halls, and the fact that he passed might not have been established. However, he is excited about what will happen next in the near future.

“I’m going to the beach in Port Stanley to swim,” cried Virgoe.

And when he made the last round of ‘clap out’, Jacobi got emotional.

“Seeing her get high-fived from everyone, it’s really heartwarming,” she said.