Clearwater secondary seeks to change the world

Clearwater Secondary School began Sept. 6 with an emphatic, powerful, and resounding commitment to 'Changing the World'

Clearwater Secondary School began Sept. 6 with an emphatic, powerful, and resounding commitment to ‘Changing the World’.  Traditional first day activities were scrapped in favor of producing our own school wide rock video otherwise referred to, by those in the know, as a Lip Dub. Directed by the always-innovative Mr. Sylvain Menard and without any prior preparation or foreknowledge the entire school was divided into seven teams while he explained our intentions. A Lip Dub is a ‘one take’, seamless video that, for us, showcases Clearwater Secondary School and its students.  Each teacher was given a portion of the lyrics to the pop song titled, “We Can Change the World” by Bridgit Mendler. It did not take long for the music and the energy to grip both teachers and students alike. Three takes later the school produced its final performance which can now be viewed on You Tube or visited through the school website. The resulting product represents a dramatic statement created by visibly smiling students who dance and lip sync their way through the school hallways to Mendler’s invitation to change the world. Since being posted the video has had over 400 hits and students everywhere in the North Thompson are humming the catchy and upbeat melody and lyrics. The synergy and momentum during the first week of school was palpable and built to a crescendo by the weekend where close to 50 of our students joined in the festivities attached to the Clearwater Regatta. Students were clearly happy to be back in a routine and it has been obvious.

On Tuesday, Sept. 13, Shelley Sim, CSS PAC president called the first meeting of the year by challenging her fellow parents and the community to raise $35,000 toward a further investment in materials and resources that will confirm our position as the “best rural school in the province”. The recent outstanding performance of last year’s Grade 10s on the June Provincial exams in English, math, and science resonated in the background of the discussions and conversations taking place that night.

Also during the first week students, parents, and staff took the time to welcome Rikka Iivanainen, our Rotary Exchange student from Finland, who will be with us until the end of the school year and to welcome two brand new teachers to the school and the profession – Ms. Jamie Loader and Mr. Skye Buck.  Both Ms. Loader and Mr. Buck (Junior) come to us with a vast experience related to working with youth in both instructional and athletic venues. Ms. Loader replaces Mr. Robert Seagle who retired last June and Mr. Buck Jr. will be teaching math and learning assistance. We are very excited by this addition to our staff and by the energy and competences they bring with them.

Some of the activities on the September Clearwater Secondary calendar include a video presentation sponsored by the TNRD titled The Clean Bin Project, which is a documentary highlighting a couple’s challenge to create zero waste. We will also host our own Terry Fox Run on Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 8:45 – 9:30 a.m. We encourage anyone interested in running with us or anyone interested in pledging money to join us as we participate in this very worthwhile cause.  This year’s CSS Students’ Council will host their first dance in the CSS Pit on Thursday, Sept. 29 from 6 – 10 p.m. and we invite all interested parents of CSS students to come out and chaperone. Finally, bring your own team or come and observe the CSS student and teacher teams square off in the first annual Raise a Reader Spelling Bee scheduled for 6:30 – 8 p.m. in the CSS PIT on Wednesday, Sept. 28. The entry fee is $100 and all donations go directly into Clearwater literacy projects. Come out and support your community.

On one final note, Thompson Rivers University, in conjunction with School District 73, is once again bringing the Welding Trades Trailer back to Clearwater Secondary School for February 2012. We are currently accepting the names of both student and community candidates for the 12 available spaces. Please call the school if you want more information about this very worthwhile training opportunity.

Take a minute to check our Lip Dub or to drop by the school and see for yourself what is going on. At Clearwater Secondary we are excited about the opportunities available to our students and we are proud of the longstanding relationship we have with the community. Clearwater Secondary is off to a great start this year and we invite you to join us by continuing to support our commitment to learning and achievement in the North Thompson.

Maybe we can’t change the world overnight, but if Clearwater Secondary School students are any example we are well on our way to trying.  Check out the Lip Dub and see what I mean.


– Alan Stel is principal of Clearwater Secondary School