Their theme might have been “Black and White” but Clearwater Secondary School’s graduating class of 2016 seemed to do everything in Technicolor during commencement ceremonies and prom last weekend.
A total of 29 students graduated this year, down from 46 students last year and 32 the year before.
The residents and organizations of Clearwater and area have always been generous in supporting the grads but this year they outdid themselves. The students shared nearly $54,000 in scholarships, bursaries and awards during last Friday’s commencement ceremonies. This was an increase from $41,000 last year and the $33,850 given out in 2014.
Top scholarship winners were the brother and sister team of Adrian and Karter Romeo. Adrian took home $11,700 in awards, while Karter collected $6,750 during the evening.
Megan Sim was in third spot with $6,500, while Janice Lau won $4,400.
For a list of scholarship and bursary winners, see this story.
Adrian and Karter Romeo were also the class valedictorians.
In their speech they used humor as they thanked everyone in the school and the community for making high school a fun and enjoyable experience.
Teacher David Whelen was the guest speaker. He spoke about the value of a liberal education. It all began with Wilhelm von Humboldt, a German philosopher and government official in the 19th Century, he said.
CSS principal Darren Coates used the opportunity to say thank you to Karl deBruijn, who will be stepping down as superintendent of School District 73 this summer.
DeBruijn intervened personally to get the school the power upgrades it needed to install a CNC router and a CNC power cutter, the principal said. In return, Coates presented him with a fly tackle box made using the school’s CNC router.
Coates also recognized the three graduates wearing gold cords, identifying them as within the top five per cent of the school district. The three were Janice Lau, Karter Romeo and Timo Menard.
In his speech, superintendent Karl deBruijn praised the residents of Clearwater and area for the support they gave the grads though their scholarships and bursaries.
“This community pulls together and supports each other in happy and unhappy situations,” he said.
Councillor Ken Kjenstad brought greetings from District of Clearwater.
Kjenstad compared life to the game of rugby – which he thought was interesting as he knows more about other sports, such as hockey.
However, he liked how scoring in rugby is called a “try.”
He also liked how in rugby, “If your uniform isn’t dirty, your nose isn’t bloody and you have no bruises, then you probably weren’t in the game.”
“It’s the same with life,” the town councillor said.
School trustee Shelley Sim noted that some of the graduates have had a relatively easy time in school, while others have had to struggle.
“The essence of success is the ability to persevere,” she said.