Clearwater Secondary School held a graduation ceremony Tuesday, June 21, for its Flex program students.
Six students are graduating from the Flex program this year, which has been available in Clearwater since around 2015.
Principal Darren Coates said the program has been a place where students find success, and that success is based on perseverance, hard work and not giving up.
The Flex program is part of CSS and funded through the high school. During his speech, Coates said the school has received additional funding for the program to support flex teacher Linda Ludbrook for more days each week.
Coates offered a few words of wisdom to the graduates. As his background is in science, he asked, “What does the science say” about happiness and what makes us happy? Many think it’s money, and while money can solve a lot of problems, it ultimately won’t make a person truly happy.
A Harvard University study, almost 80 years old, started tracking the health of 268 sophomores in 1938. It’s one of the world’s longest studies of adult life. Over the years, the data has shown that more than anything, community helps us live longer, happier lives.
“Money is important to a certain extent, but it’s forging these relationships,” said Coates. “And it’s not whether you’re in a committed relationship, it’s the quality of your close relationships that matter.”
Shelley Sim, who is a School District 73 board trustee, also spoke to the graduates. She began by voicing support for Ludbrook, but adding that while she’s “magical,” the students “are the stars.”
“You’re the stars because you allowed someone like her and the people that love you to come into your heart and touch you and foster that love of learning,” said Sim. “You’ve produced some incredible efforts, and it was through your strength and determination that each of you are crossing the line today.”
Charli Fontaine, Cassidi Fontaine, Kaley (Kai) Jones and Jason Cole each received their certificates from Principal Coates. Graduates Aiden Best and Kaylie Romeril were not in attendance.