Writing this speech has been a difficult task, as I knew this is my last year as principal of Barriere Secondary School. I have reflected a great deal on not just this past year, but rather the past five years.
In 2008, we entered Barriere Secondary. Each of us were probably excited, apprehensive and fearful of the challenges of the year and years ahead.
What was Barriere Secondary School going to be like? We saw a school beaming with potential and pride. We had a school full of inquisitive minds a boat load of energy – not all of it focused! Our job – ensure our kids understood the advantageous position they were in being students at Barriere Secondary.
There was 35 in your class. You welcomed six new staff members. Today – You have 33 class mates beside you – 25 of which were in your grade 8 class. You have sat in 43 different teachers classrooms and had three different vice-principals!
Through your five years of high school, you have endured labour disruptions, staff uncertainties, and an increased reliance on technology to complete your educational programs.
In addition, your graduation year has been marked by events such as New Town Connecticut, Boston, Clearwater and prominent members of our community passing. These event have kept us grounded and mindful of the important things.
However, I do not want to dwell on the lows of the past school year, rather I do want to focus on the 2012-2013 high points and what these student have accomplish over the past five years.
In front of you we have :
Over a $150,000 of scholarship money won locally, provincially and nationally.
Hosts to 36 international students from Indonesia
Okanagan Althetic Championship participants
They rocked the Heavy duty equipment operators competition
Youth mentors and
District Choir participants.
As I close, I want to leave the students with a message I heard when I was a grade 11 student at Barriere Secondary. Bob Smith, a past graduate came and spoke at an athletic banquet. At the time he was enrolled at UBC and playing varsity volleyball. That evening, he made the comment that “Never was he denied an opportunity because he was from Barriere.”
That statement resonated with me. As a faculty at Barriere Secondary School we feel strongly that our graduates are as competent and competitive as any student, in any school, in any part of our province and country.
We hope our students and community believe that being from Barriere is not an impediment to being successful! Barriere Secondary will continue to face challenges; however these challenges will provide you with focus and purpose.
We wish you luck! Most of all I wish you a future full of possibilities. Thank you.
Excerpts from Barriere Secondary principal Jonathan Brady’s address to the 2013 graduating class.