(L-r) Tracy Buck, Natalia Biagioni, Cathy and Rick Dekelver, Wyatt Dame, Brent Buck and Emily Giesbrecht pose during the presentation of the Skye and Courtney Buck Memorial Bursary. Photos by Keith McNeill

Clearwater Secondary School graduation

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2018

By Jaime Polmateer

Clearwater Secondary School held its graduation for 2018 on June 22, sending a fresh crop of young men and women into the world of opportunity.

The ceremony started with the principal’s welcome from principal Darren Coates and his message to the parents saying, “Your work is not quite yet done.”

Then he directed his attention to the grads themselves, asking, “What makes people happy?”

Research shows it’s not money, he added, because once people make $60,000 per year in household income, there’s not a lot of difference in terms of happiness.

“The key to happiness is relationships,” Coates said.

“Researchers call it ‘revelation’ because it’s a better predictor of happiness than social status, wealth or genes.”

Next to step to the podium was school board trustee and District of Clearwater municipal councillor Shelley Sim who brought greetings from the rest of the School District 73 trustees and Clearwater Counsellors.

“Your time as caterpillars has ended and it’s time to spread your wings,” said Sim.

“I challenge you to be unstoppable.”

Sim went on to encourage the graduates to create not just a career, but to create a life.

Bill Hamblett, assistant superintendent of schools, brought greetings from the superintendent’s office and advised the grads in the crowd to surround themselves with people who also have a vested interest in their individual happiness.

“They will tell you they believe in you,” he said, adding people will judge them on how they deal with adversity.

Former CSS teacher and rugby coach Gabe Francis was invited by the grads to be the special guest speaker.

During his humorous talk he asked grad and former rugby player Keanen Bromley. “What is the difference between a regular bear and a koala?”

Bromley didn’t know.

“A regular bear does not meet koala-fications,” said Francis.

The guest speaker then invited Bromley up to the podium to help him read a story about dinosaurs that had the grads laughing.

“Don’t lose your dinosaur but be careful where you keep it,” Francis said.

During the ceremony a number of bursaries and scholarships were also handed out to help the graduates begin the next leg of their journey.

The Bill Sedgwick Memorial Bursary was given to Natalia Biagioni; the BOP Elks 499 Bursary was handed to Morgan Thomas; Keanen Bromley received the Brody Wynn Memorial Bursary and Emily Giesbrecht, Wyatt Dame and Natalia Biagioni received the Skye/Courtney Buck Bursary.

The Buy-Low Foods Scholarship went to Emily Giesbrecht; Savannah Dee received the Clearwater Dental Clinic Bursary; Natalia Biagioni picked up the Central North Thompson Rod and Gun Club Bursary and the Central North Thompson Pioneers Bursary went to Grace Porter and Keanen Bromley.

The Century 21 Rison Bursary also went to Grace Porter; Savannah Dee was the recipient of the Clearwater Rotary Club Bursary; the Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi/Xi Epsilon Eta Bursary went to Keanen Bromley and Savannah Dee and Emily Giesbrecht both took home the Chris Cleaveley/Mary Fus Bursary.

The Clearwater-Vavenby Lions Club Bursary went to Savannah Dee and Bobbi Russell; the Clearwater and District Minor Hockey Association: Donna Akers Sjodin Memorial was handed to Mason Wadlegger and Jaxon Kjenstad and Savannah Dee was the recipient of the Dr. Cary Lam Memorial Scholarship.

The Dave Giesbrecht Memorial Bursary was given to Wyatt Dame and Mason Wadlegger; the District/Authority Scholarships went to Keanen Bromley, Savannah Dee, Wyatt Dame and Emily Giesbrecht and Keanen Bromley also received the Lynda Cairns Memorial Bursary.

The School District 73 Scholarship Emily Giesbrecht; the Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital Health Care Auxiliary Bursary was given to Savannah Dee; the KTTA-Bert Lambert Memorial Scholarship was taken by Keanen Bromley and Emily Giesbrecht received the KTTA-School District 73 Scholarship.

Emily Giesbrecht took home the Estek Environmental Sciences LLP Science Scholarship; Wyatt Dame received the Harry Taron Memorial Bursary, Mason Wadlegger was the recipient of the Fund For a Worthy Student Scholarship and Interior Savings and Credit Union Million Dollar Bursary went to Natalia Biagioni, Mason Wadlegger and Morgan Thomas.

Kamloops Blazers High School Scholarship went to Mason Wadlegger; the Kamloops Honda Bursary went to Keanen Bromley; the Sharke Contracting Scholarship was handed to Natalia Biagioni and the Pharmasave Bursary was awarded to Savannah Dee.

Dominic Rivas was given the Principals and Vice-Principals Bursary, the Redman Family Memorial Bursary went to Natalia Biagioni; Savannah Dee took the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 259 Bursary and Savannah Dee also received the Royal Purple Bursary.

The Times Bursary went to Morgan Thomas; the Thompson Rivers University Potential Entrance Scholarship was handed to Savannah Dee; the Thompson Rivers University Ambassadors Entrance Scholarship went to Emily Giesbrecht, who also received the Wadlegger Logging and Construction Bursary and Wyatt Dame took home the Yellowhead Community Services Scholarship.


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Principal Darren Coates carries a toy dump truck full of toy cars that were gifts from this year’s graduates.

Mason Wadlegger was one of 25 students to graduate from Clearwater Secondary School on June 22.

Adrik Leppy strikes a pose for the camera at the Clearwater Secondary School graduation ceremony.

Bobbi Russell and Gibson Nash cruise in a golf cart at the Clearwater Secondary School prom on June 23.

Keltie Arndt and Jaxon Kjenstad.

Natalie Biagioni and Carson Musselman.

The senior class poses for a group photo at the Clearwater Secondary School prom.

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